“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:10-11 (ESV)
Everyone wants to be considered diligent. Who wouldn’t want to be known as being conscientious in whatever they do. The synonyms for diligence paint a clear picture: industrious, hard-working, particular, meticulous, painstaking, rigorous, careful, and thorough. Our mind is the place of our intellect, reasoning, and intentions; our behavior begins in our mind. And it is in our minds where spiritual transformation happens. Spiritual diligence means we give our full attention to what God has called us to do.
Given that our behavior begins in our mind, and our mind is where spiritual transformation happens, it won’t surprise anyone that our adversary wants to mess with our thinking? It is a favorite spot for building strongholds from which to distract and disarm Christians. Our thoughts have power and can easily begin to ruin our lives, controlling our words and actions, feelings and emotions — even our peace and happiness. When disappointment crushes our dreams, when people hurt or anger us, or when problems seem overwhelming, it’s easy to get caught in the rip-current of negative thoughts. And when we think negative thoughts, we feel negative feelings, leading to believing life is negative overall.
We realize that we are engaged in a spiritual battle, but it is more difficult to free yourself once Satan has established a beachhead in your mind. We try to talk ourselves out of it, but that doesn’t always work. We know who the enemy is, and we also know the only One who can defeat him.
When we are seriously pursuing what God has told us to do, we won’t have time for wrong attitudes and wrong thinking. To remain diligent, we must be engrossed, totally absorbed, and fully engaged. We must immerse ourselves in faith, prayer, and meditation regarding God’s call in our lives. All of this takes 100 percent of our focus and effort for us to accomplish what God has placed in our hearts. Being diligent means we recognize the enemy, and fight him with God’s power and with Scriptural truth.
We have the power to choose whose voice we listen to, this week and every week. No matter what darkness and turmoil the world seems to face right now, we don’t have to let the enemy win in our lives. We can live aware, stand strong, and believe in the One who holds the final victory over evil. The One who conquered death.
- How would you define diligence? Do you consider yourself an industrious person, even if no one is watching?
- What issue is in your life that would improve with more diligence?
- Think through the steps you need to take to put diligence into action. How could you be more spiritually diligent this week?