Scott LaPierre Ministries
Make It Your Ambition to Lead a Quiet Life (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
Paul said, "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands" (1 Thessalonians 4:11). Read or listen to this chapter from Work and Rest God’s Way to learn how to lead a quiet life and work with your hands.
Table of contentsSeek Great Things in God’s Eyes, Such as Leading a Quiet LifeMoses Pursued Greatness in God’s EyesJonathan Pursued Greatness in God’s EyesJohn the Baptist Pursued Greatness in God’s EyesDespised Jobs that Please GodMake It Your Ambition to Lead a Quiet LifeMost of Us Will Be a Thaddeus or a BaruchThe Premier Example of Leading a Quiet Life
Seek Great Things in God’s Eyes, Such as Leading a Quiet Life
Samuel, the prophet, was a godly man, but he made a mistake when he was sent to anoint David to replace Saul. Jesse’s sons stood before him, and 1 Samuel 16:6–7 records:
So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
When each son was rejected, “Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all the young men here?’ Then he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep’” (1 Samuel 16:11). God chose David, the son whose name Jesse didn’t even use, and who wasn’t even invited to the anointing. Why? God sees things differently than man sees them.
Consider Moses unleashing the plagues on Egypt, David killing Goliath, and Elijah defeating the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. God was pleased when these events took place, and they’re some of our favorite accounts to read in Scripture. In that sense, they look great in God’s eyes and man’s eyes. But this isn’t the case with everything in the Bible. Some things that look great in God’s eyes might look bad in man’s eyes, such as service, humility, and forgiveness. Conversely, some things that look great in man’s eyes are not great in God’s eyes—at least when they become idols or are used sinfully—such as fame, riches, and power.
Baruch’s situation is another example. He found his job unfulfilling and miserable. Being Jeremiah’s scribe was unattractive and unglamorous to him. But in God’s eyes, he was doing a great thing. He was writing the very words of Scripture and serving one of God’s faithful prophets!
As we think about our work, the question is never, “How does this look to man?” The question is, “How does this look to God?” When we can answer the second question, we can correctly evaluate our job.
Let’s consider some people who sought great things in God’s eyes. Their examples can encourage us and help us rightly view our situations.
Moses Pursued Greatness in God’s Eyes
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:24–27).
Moses “[saw] Him who is invisible,” referring to God. This doesn’t make sense, does it? We can’t see what’s invisible. The beginning of the chapter says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is seeing what is invisible, which means Moses’ faith caused him to turn his back on Egypt and all it represented.
Moses’ life was charted. He could have grown up in Pharaoh’s house with luxury, fame, safety, and ease, but he rejected all of that for a life of mistreatment and oppression. Moses knew the “pleasures of sin” were “fleeting” and temporary, so he embraced “the reproach of Christ.” He didn’t know Jesus as we do,