In preparing for my Wednesday evening class on Christian Disciplines I wrote a few lines on Diligence and its importance in the life of the believer. I want to share them with you today.
The first point is obvious as it amplifies the word itself. Don’t quit. There will be obstacles that rise up and try to prevent you from completing your task. These are really opportunities in disguise. I don’t mean that they won’t be difficult or that they will always bring you a blessing. Sometimes they will bring you to a compete stop, but that doesn’t mean that you can now drop the effort. My Dad had a saying that you have to learn how to plow around a stump. When clearing land to grow a crop the land was cleared but the stumps were left until the next year in order to get a crop this year so the plowing was done between the stumps that would be removed later. By allowing the stumps to remain for a while you gain the time to complete the whole job. Also, valuable lessons are learned by addressing the issues and not letting them stop you.
The second point is, Don’t Give Up! It is not enough to overcome a problem. It seems that the problems come in number and rarely come alone. Remember that you are not the one that provides the power over the circumstance. You need to bring your resources together to deal with these “problems”. So much of the time we work as though we live by the moto, If it is to be, it is up to me. In truth it is not up to “me”. I am but a part of the solution. I am to bring the sum of my resources to the task. That includes gifts, talents, resources, people, etc together in this effort. It especially includes the power of God. He is just waiting for us to discover “I can’t”, only then to discover the He can and He will. It ain’t over, till it is over. When God calls us to a task, it is with the objective that it is brought under the power of God.
And the final point is; Don’t Burn Yourself Out! There is not glory in being used up. What that really means is that you have been using your power instead of His. His promise to us is that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He isn’t asking us to do His work, He is asking to work through us. He does the work while we do the things that opens the way for Him to use us. He wins the souls, does miracles, changes hearts, etc. We bring the body into subjection to Him, discipline the mind, organize the resources, exercise our gifts, etc.
It is a team effort to bring this world into the kingdom of God. Our Lord doesn’t want us to take on His job but He wants us to do our job. The outcome is His.