2001-05-21 - Diligence
Diligence Series, Part 2
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
At the end of last summer my wife and I started mountain biking together. We thought we were decent bikers. We would go out for a while and then come back. As we continued biking into the fall season we were going faster and further. In the springtime when we began again we continued to go further and further and become more and more comfortable on our bikes. We bought more equipment and now we are even talking about doing some local races.
As we look back now at how far and fast we went when we were first starting out, we laugh that we thought, at that time, that we were doing a lot. That distance, now, would hardly even be a warm up. The reason why this applies today is because it has been our discipline and diligence that has brought us from where we were to where we are now. We may look back on where we are now, in a year, and be amazed that we think as we do now.
It is like this in the Christian life. As we continue on in the Christian life, hopefully, we can look back and see that we have grown in grace. Growth for the Christian does not happen over night. It takes time and diligence to pursue righteousness. "He who pursues righteousness and loyalty finds life, righteousness and honor." Proverbs 21:21
If you have ever striven for anything; a college degree, down payment money on something you desire, the affection of another person, or anything, you know that it involves effort and careful planing to obtain the goal. It is no different in growth in the Christian life. It takes effort, care, discipline, and diligence to grow in grace.
The above verse from Ephesians is a strange one. Put on the full armor of God so you can resist in the evil day and we would think it would end there. However, it doesn't end there. There is a great emphasis in the last part of the verse when it says "and when you have done all, stand firm." The implication is that we should do all we can, and when we have done all that we can, do that we can. In other words, we need to use all the diligence and effort we can muster to stand in the Christian life. As Proverbs 4:23 tells us, "Watch over you heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."
Soli Deo Gloria,