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22
The Need For Diligence
November 22, 2012

As I was praying this morning, the word “diligence” came into my mind. This is a word that one hardly hears today in our complacent, half-hearted, good enough society. The dictionary defines ‘diligence’ as “an earnest and persistent application to any undertaking”. When you carry that over to the Christian life, how many today are earnestly and persistently applying themselves to the undertaking of growing in God and knowing Christ with the whole heart? My Bible, which is truth, tells me that God is “a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

How many of us who claim to be followers of Christ are earnestly and persistently seeking Him and His will? How many of us are diligently studying His Word and spending quality time in our prayer closet? How many of us not only attend, but get involved in the all important ministry of our church? Are we being diligent in these eternal matters of the Kingdom or are we just squeaking by in our spiritual disciplines with an uncaring approach of indifference? Unfortunately that mediocre attitude has also crept into the church. This is a sad result of two things:

1. A nonchalant lukewarm spirit that has infiltrated many arrogant believers deceived by the pride of life. Christ warned the Church in Laodicea about their true spiritual state in Revelation 3 with the impending and serious consequence of being spit out of His mouth. Their vain estimate of themselves was that they were rich, and increased with goods, and had need of nothing; but Jesus pulled back the facade and showed them their true, deplorable nature-- wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: They may have been well off financially, but they were utterly bankrupt spiritually. Lukewarmness is a very disturbing and evident malady of today’s casual generation—a compromising, liberal church that has forsaken its diligence in seeking God and has turned its attention to the prosperity, prestige and popularity of this alluring world.

2. A mental, spiritual and physical weariness from the intense warfare and accompanying trials. It’s called “battle fatigue” in military terms, dealing with the immense stress of combat. The symptoms of battle fatigue are slow reaction, indecision, sleep deprivation, memory loss, acute anxiety, bouts of depression, irritability and poor concentration. Heightened and prolonged spiritual warfare with heavy combat against principalities and powers can also have the same emotional and physical effects. Spiritual battle fatigue is so serious and dangerous to our salvation that we must be absolutely disciplined and diligent in our seeking God. Consider these seven “musts” to ensure our victory over the temptation to quit.

We must cast our cares upon Him who cares for us.

We must speak His word to rebuild faith in our hearts.

We must turn to Him in prayer and confession.

We must worship Him for His goodness and grace.

We must thank Him for His unfailing love and faithfulness.

We must guard our hearts from fear and rest in His peace.

We must forgive those who have harmed us.

In 2 Peter 1:10, Peter exhorts the believers to be earnest and persistent in their calling.  “give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you shall never fall”. What “things” was Peter referring to that would keep us standing strong and victorious in the battle? In 2 Peter 1:5-7, he lays out his “overcomers’ spiritual list” that leads to the victorious life of diligence! “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”

I highly recommend, as one who cares, that you make examination of your heart in light of this passage, praying for the Holy Spirit to reveal any onset of lukewarmness or battle fatigue that are the result of a lack of diligence in wholeheartedly seeking God. I will do the same. This is a good start to make your calling and election sure with the assurance that you will never fall in the battle of life! Amen!

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