Wisdom of Ants: Protect My King

 Ants are, arguably, not the most exciting topic. In fact, many consider them pests and study them in ways that entail only speedy eradication methods.  However, the more I march with them, the more I learn from them. Would you like to journey with me? If so, here are paths to explore:

General Exploration

  1. Why are we urged to consider ants on our wisdom quest?
  2. What might it be like to live as an ant
  3. Am I a sluggard? Do I really need the help of an ant?
  4. How can I apply explicit advice from the verse today?

My Responsibilities, Upon Consideration of the Ant

  1. Speak life.
  2. Keep marching. Keep doing the work assigned to me and know it is vital.

And now, as I continue the responsibility path, I wonder: how might I

Red ants marching on a green leaf with words "Protect my King" beneath in white lettering
Picture by Shammiknr via Pixabay


An Ant’s Perspective

An ant’s protection of their queen is instinctual at every stage:

  1. Larvae eat invading larva (BBCto ensure an alien colony does not infiltrate their queen’s nest.
  2. Young adults care for the larva (BBCof their queen. 
  3. Adult males exist solely to make sure their queen’s lineage continues (Moffett). 
  4. Workers die alongside (Moffett) their queen.

While an ant’s protection of their queen is instinctual at every stage, the protection of our King must be intentional. This is what separates us from the ants after all: choice. They march, protect, eat, and rest because it is how they were made. We were made to worship (Isaiah 43:21), but we must choose it.

Black ant with red on edges on the leaf of a branch surrounded by the lettering: We were made to worship, but we must CHOOSE it.
Background picture by Diego_Torres via Pixabay.


Human Application

Are you choosing it? If we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and might (Matthew 22:37-40 at Bible Gateway), our emotions, motivations, and actions should reflect, and thus protect, our King.


But how does what I think, do, or say protect God?

YOU are an image bearer of God (Genesis 1:26-27 at Bible Gateway). YOU are a light on the hill (Matthew 5:14-16 at Bible Gateway). What you think, do, and say impacts how others see God. When we act in Godly ways, it protects His image in the world. So, check your reflection: is it tarnished and in need of polishing? Is your light growing dim? Consider:

  1. Your actions – Do they exalt your King?
  2. Your words – Do they amplify those of your King?
  3. Your purpose - Does it align with your King’s will?
  4. Your thoughts – Do they reflect loyalty toward your King?

You, like me, cannot answer affirmatively to ANY of these questions ALL the time. We are human, and as such are in constant need of refinement from the Light of the World; none of us are perfect.

An red ant coming toward the camera at the bottom of a sand landscape with the words "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23 above the ant.
Background picture by Prasanthdas ds via Pexels


Why does God need my help?

Yet (in Jude 3) we, imperfections and all, are called to fight for the faith which once and for all God gave to His people:


My dear friends, I was doing my best to write to you about the salvation we share in common, when I felt the need of writing at once to encourage you to fight on for the faith which once and for all God has given to his people.

But how do we fight? How do we protect our king?

Surely not with a sling, sword, or ram's horn; we’re not equipped for that. But we are equipped with:

  1. Actions
  2. Words
  3. Purpose 
  4. Life

 

Ant Mode Challenge

To protect our King, we must choose to align our actions, words, purpose, and life to God’s will. Consider the following steps:

  1. Check your reflection. Without judgement, note your emotions, motivations, and actions.
  2. Consider the source. Why are you feeling, thinking, doing, and saying these things?
  3. Clean the mirror. Sift out the emotions, motivations, and actions not aligned to His purposes by running them through the threshing wheel of His word (Proverbs 20:26 links to Bible Hub). To aid you with this, you will need to reference the Bible.
  4. Choose His image. Work toward choosing His ways over your own because, “His ways are higher than your ways. His thoughts are higher than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9 links to Bible Hub).

The truth is: if what you do, think, or say does not align with God’s will, you are not protecting our King; you are acting in opposition to Him.


When to reflect?

In the words of the Blue Fairy (from Disney’s Pinocchio) “Let your conscience be your guide.” God breathed His spirit into us (Genesis 2:7 at Bible Gateway) and it helps us discern right from wrong (Proverbs 20:27 & Psalm 40:8 at Bible Gateway). So when a situation weighs on your heart, that is when you commit to this ant challenge.


How might it look?

From a personal experience.

1. Check my reflection. 

Without judgement, note your emotions, motivations, and actions:
  1. MY EMOTION: I am angry and hurt.
  2. MY MOTIVATION: A student questioned my ability to teach.
  3. MY ACTION: I cannot sleep. The words keep replaying in my head. I know I need to reach a place of forgiveness, but am unsure how to move forward. How do you make someone respect you?

2. Consider the source. 

Why are you feeling, thinking, doing, and saying these things?

  •  Why am I feeling angry and hurt? My works are under attack. The service I am offering (with good intentions!) to another person is unappreciated.
  • Why am I thinking that what was said might be true? I am forgetting who I am by allowing the opinion of a student to define me. Doing so enables Satan to build a barrier between me and the student.
  • Why am I not sleeping?  I know repairs are needed. It is a problem that must be solved, and I must reach a solution. My spiritual candle detected turmoil in my soul.

3. Clean the mirror. 

Sift out the emotions, motivations, and actions not aligned to His purposes by running them through the threshing wheel of His word.
  • EMOTIONS Use a Biblical reference to explain why you feel the way you do.
    • Anger: Biblically, I am allowed to feel anger, just not to sin in it. (Ephesians 4:26 links to Bible Hub)
    • Hurt: I felt dishonored (Romans 12:10 links to Bible Hub) because my devotion to another from a place of love was rejected.
  • MOTIVATIONS Use a Biblical reference to explain what motivates you in this situation.
    1. I believe, with all my heart, that when guiding children it is my primary job to train them in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6 KJV Bible Gateway),
    2. I do not take it lightly (Luke 12:48 KJV Bible Gateway).
    3. Right now, I’m allowing the opinion of a student to define me instead of God’s opinion of me. (Colossians 3:23).
  •  ACTIONS Use a Biblical reference to explain my actions.
    • I’m likely not falling asleep because I need to work this anger out (Ephesians 4:26 links to Bible Hub).
    • Instead of working through my thoughts and feelings, I’m dwelling in the pain; thereby, allowing the devil to take a foothold (Ephesians 4:27 links to Bible Hub).

4. Choose His image. 

Work toward choosing His ways over your own because, “His ways are higher than your ways. His thoughts are higher than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9).

  • EMOTIONS
    • Anger: I choose to let go of my anger, so I might also refrain from sinning (Psalm 37:8 links to Bible Hub).
    • Hurt: I choose to realize that ungratefulness is often a reward for a righteous act (Psalm 109:5 links to Bible Hub).
  • MOTIVATION
  • ACTIONS
    • I choose to offer my anger as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1 GNT Bible Gateway) by
      1. thinking before I address it (James 1:20 GNT Bible Gateway)
      2. or even choosing to ignore it (Proverbs 19:11 GNT Bible Gateway),
      3. and turning it into an opportunity for instruction toward a higher good (Ephesians 4:12 Bible Hub).
    •  I choose to go back to sleep by reminding interrupting thoughts that I’ve left this problem with God who is more than capable to see it through to completion (Philippians 1:6).

How do I do it?

To aid you in the image refining process, print off the companion guide and think through the questions with pencil and paper. Better yet, keep a blank one handy at your bedside for nights when wandering thoughts lead to sleeplessness.

A worksheet to think through the 4 steps of refining your emotions, motivations, and actions so you can protect your king.
Get Steps to Protect My King here.


Final Thoughts

Think on this: YOU bear God’s image. People look at you and see a reflection of God. Before you act or speak, do you consider what message you relay about God? One of the biggest deterrents from Christianity is the way “Christ-followers” act (Pew Research). As such, I implore you: examine yourself. What image are you projecting? Is it really the image of God? Are your motivations truly in line with God’s will? It is important and worth your time. Others are watching, and you, a citizen adopted by the most high King, are trusted with much. It is a heavy responsibility; one I pray you take seriously.

With earnest love and prayers,

A red steaming bowl with Wolfe Stew inscribed on top.


 

 


 

 

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