Interesting that one of God's tiniest creations is referenced in scripture for us to study. The complete scripture of Proverbs 6: 6-8 reads: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise, which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest."
Solomon urged the lazy man to consider the ways of the ant. I feel there is also a lesson for us as a modern Christian (lazy or not), to learn from the ant. That is, the importance of community.
An ant by itself would probably not survive because they depend on their community. They work together, sharing food resources to benefit the colony. Did you know ants 'milk' bugs like aphids, caterpillars and mealy worms for honey dew? Some experiments even suggest that ants have a 'collective mind,' sensing when a part of their community is threatened.
Sadly, the Christian community is decreasing. I read some statistics today that made me shiver and my spirit cry out. Attendance in America's churches is dropping, based on a 2010 report. For the first time Church-goers in America are now in the minority (48%). More saddening is that only 25% attend church more than twice a month.
What has happened to our churches in America? Have we lost faith, or is it because we do not reach out sharing His love within our communities?
The believers in Acts 2:44 had all things in common. They sold their possessions and gave to one another as a need arose. They were in one accord, daily at church, they shared communion and meals from house to house, with joy and 'singleness of heart (collective mind). "Praising God, and having favour with all the people." (Acts 2:44-47)
These were the believers in Christ who were sharing and caring...but what kind of an impact did it make on the unbelieving community? To see and hear of so much love and giving must have profoundly affected the Church's outreach. What was God's response toward this body of believers? "And the Lord added to the church daily..." (Acts 2:47)
Galatians 6:2 says, "Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." If we desire that collective mind, we need to have a collective spirit...that is the Holy Spirit, uniting our hearts and urging us to work together. Differences between the faiths or individuals should not deter us from being like-minded in loving the unsaved, and bringing them to Christ.
Paul said it best in Philippians 2:
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. . ."
If ants are attracted to a species not their own, because of a sweet nectar, then perhaps with the mind of Christ and His love we can attract the unsaved and add to our churches once again. What are your thoughts?
Lord, help us to be of one mind today.
P.S. Just an afterthought....I noticed in my research of ants that in all the pictures of them carrying food they never used their legs to carry the food. They use their jaws...I wonder if that's so they can't talk about each other while they work?