Slay The Slothful Spirit– Develop Diligence
In order to slay the slothful spirit we must have diligence. Diligence means we take the painstaking effort to accomplish our desires. What we should know is that there is a direct link between desire, diligence and accomplishment.
- Proverb 13:4 says, “the soul of the sluggard desires and has nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat” which means we will prosper and flourish because our souls are prospering and flourishing.
In essence, when our souls are generating right(eous) desires, and we diligently pursue those right desires (take the pain staking effort to accomplish) then, we will get right results and it will be sweet to our souls.
- Proverb 13:19 says, the desire accomplished is sweet to the soul. (Accomplished desires make our souls fat and sweet instead of destitute and bitter)
- Note: Proverb 10:24 says, the desire of the righteous shall be granted.
- Proverb 11:23 says, the desire of the righteous is only good.
As a result, we need to know what’s really driving us because many are diligently pursuing unrighteous desires which may get accomplished but will not provide the best results.
In order to ensure that we are diligent in the right desires we should take diligent inventory of our desires and know the condition of our souls.
- Proverb 27: 23 says, be thou diligent to know that state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
- Also, Hebrews 12:15 tells us to be “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
The next thing we should know about diligence is that it is the direct opposite of slothfulness and provides the exact opposite results. For example:
- Proverb 22:29 says, “seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” (ie see a man who is not diligent he will sand before mean men)
- Proverb 12:24 says, the hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute (forced labor).
- Proverb 10:4 says, he becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
We should also know that there is a direct link between discipline and diligence. Discipline is God’s instruction that we receive from His Word that guides us to prosperity and pleasures. God speaks to us from the inside out; we hearken to it; then God guides us to prosperity. Therefore, we should be diligent to seek and hearken to God’s instruction.
- Hebrews 11:6 says, but without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
- Deuteronomy 11:13-15 says, and it shall come to pass, if ye hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil and I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.
- Proverb 6:22-23 says, when thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakes, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.
Being diligent requires:
- Right thoughts—Proverb 21:5 says that thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness (tend = keep watch over; be in charge of; be incline towards)(plenteousness = making gain; progress)
- Right hearts— Proverb 4:23 says, Keep thy heart will all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
- Right spirits—Proverb 20:27 says the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly. (Note: God lights us up with desire and strength to be diligent to accomplish His desires) See, Psalm 18:28-29 which says, for thou will light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
Please feel free to listen to the SlackBuster Show from the 4/30/13 Show that teaches these concepts and please feel free to download the fill in the blank worksheet that goes along with this teaching.
Clarence J. Parks, JD, MDiv