Be the Third Monkey
Three lessons to join the fight

You are currently in the midst of the most important years of your life. You are at the age right now where God is presenting you with a choice: the seemingly easy way or His way.

This world loves to go the path of least resistance. It doesn’t like to fight. But God wants us to fight what seems easy. He wants us to fight this world. He wants us to fight to enjoy His way of life—to enjoy our prayers, our relationship with our parents.

Proverbs 22:6 reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” How does this verse apply to you? You have to agree to this training. You have to want to go to camp, to Imperial Academy, to want to listen to the instruction you receive and apply it. When someone tells you a certain way to live, it is natural to resist. It takes a special individual to fight that tendency to resist.

Your parents are training you to trust God, to trust His system, to love the program. In Satan’s world, you must fight to submit to that training. This is the challenging way of life, but it is the only one worth choosing. It will bring blessings and opportunities if you fight for it.

Here are three points on how to fight for this way of life.

1. Don’t be lazy.

Satan wants us to be lazy, and most young people today are. Young David and Jeremiah could have chosen to be lazy, but when God called them, they responded with intensity. God saw that potential in them. He gave them adventure; He gave them responsibility; He gave them a lifetime full of thrilling opportunity. They were writers. They were empire-builders. Both had some ambition and were humble enough to make God the priority. There is no reason you can’t be like David or Jeremiah.

In Proverbs 24, Solomon writes that he “went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man” (verse 30-34).

This vineyard reflects the life of a lazy person: somebody who just lets everything go to waste. The easy way leads to weeds, broken down structures, overgrown fields. God helped Solomon understand what caused this state. Poverty is waiting for you decide to let down and be lazy.

If you really want this way of life, you have to work hard to prove to God that you will capture every moment He makes available and every success He wants you to have. You have to prove to God that you will work for that.

The easy way is to be lazy. The fulfilling way is to work for it!

2. Prefer God and His family.

Fight to be excited about your friends and family and opportunities in the Church. We read in James 4:4 that “the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Friendship with the world is enmity—is hostility—toward God. It sets you at odds with the Being who should be your closest companion. And it is something God cannot look past—He cannot be friends with the world.

We must fight to resist that mentality. This world is tempting. It appeals to the easy way, things we want to do rather than things we ought to do. You have to work hard to embrace and love the rules God has set for you.

When I was younger, I went through basic training for the military. We would run up and down the runways of an air force base in the heat of the summer, and every day I wanted to quit. As we were all doubled over on the side of the track, puking because of the heat, the drill sergeant would get right in our faces and ask us if we wanted to quit. He would make us say, “No, this is too easy, Drill Sergeant!” As soon as I would say that, it would make me want to run.

It is too easy! The fight is too easy if we are fighting for God. God will fight those battle for us. But we have to be there. We cannot be lazy. We have to say to God, This is too easy! He wants that fighting spirit.

3. Get into the fight.

Read Judges 7. The familiar account of Gideon’s army is all about the courage of a small fraction of Israel that really wanted to fight! Everyone in that army at the start wanted to be delivered by God. Everybody wants the benefits of God’s intervention. And most were willing to help, but they were not eager to get into the fight. They were happy to let someone else go instead.

That is how we all sometimes think about the harder things in life, but God says to get into the fight. God was looking for a few people who recognized that God is the one who fights. Those 300 understood that the battle was God’s, but they wanted to be the ones fighting.

Show God that you want His way of life. Be a fighter. Befriend God rather than the world. And as my favorite quote goes: “If you’re going to fight, fight like the third monkey on the ramp to Noah’s ark … and brother, it’s starting to rain.”