Diligence is a gift that God gives hearts willing to become diligent

See if you can identify with me here: I don’t struggle with diligence, I just have a problem when being diligent isn’t easy. To think of walking out daily a consistent pattern of performance in good works seems like a marvelous evidence of grace. It’s something I truly want in my life; it’s just not something I really expect to take work.

Lately I’ve felt God calling me to be more diligent in certain areas of my life. He has wanted me to spend more time writing and He’s given me a new goal to reach for each month. I’ve loved the idea of the goals when He put them before me, but working them out has been a challenge–though certainly a very practical means of promoting growth.

I have been greatly aware of the pressure I feel as I attempt to be diligent in more things. I wonder if its not a bad idea that I try to do so much in a day. After all, I don’t always know how to juggle everything perfectly. And I worry that my “luck” in keeping everything in the air at once is running out. Each responsibility that is additional to my goal seems like an obstacle to my goal. Thus, I am tempted to give up my goal in the very name of responsibility. I think I should I hold to my regular duties and forget adding extra work for myself. A voice inside keeps saying: See how unrealistic it is for you to be setting goals for yourself right now? There are too many other things to attend to in your life already. Be smart and stop this before you go crazy and fail in everything you’re trying to do.

The things I have deduced about my circumstances and my responsibility reveal that I have a high tolerance for giving up. It’s not that I should not acknowledge that things are hard, but that I must not use the tension as a justification for disobedience. I know the way in which God wants me to go and I know it will not be easy for me, but I also know that God promises He shall enable me to endure if I am willing to let Him. The issue is whether I want Him to help me in this direction. Do I really want to get to where He wants me to go? Do I want to be a servant that He makes persistent in His mission? Or would I rather merely attempt His mission, but be free to return to my own when it’s harder than I want it to be?

The truth is, God hasn’t called me to an easy path; He has called me to an excellent path. A path where I would be conformed to His image and throw off the likeness of fleshly humanness. I don’t get to control the things that make this path excellent nor do I have the freedom to manage the affects walking it will have on me. I am given the expectation of trust. God anticipates that I will walk the path because I believe His faithfulness is enough of an encouragement to be faithful myself.

And truly, if I am willing to focus exclusively on His faithfulness, I am able to find cause for faithfulness as well as ability. Therefore, it is high time I let go the comfort-fantasy I’ve let tag along with me, keeping me emotionally uncommitted. As Hebrews says, I must lay aside this weight that would so easily become a sin to ensnare me. I must release myself into God’s care, counting that care as more precious than any care I could give myself.

I must remind myself of the good fruits that God is bringing about through my diligence that I might not shrink back from continuing in it. Though it is harder to follow God in these new ways, I am getting more done than I was before He called me to them. I am learning to trust God in new ways, too. Every day that I endeavor to carry out what He has put before me, I am freshly aware that I cannot do this on my own. Certainly, He has given the goals, and He must give the grace to complete them. My prayer is that just as He is set upon them I would also be.

I cannot maintain diligence unless I realize that it is about more than me. Beyond my perceptions, emotions and even the level of growth I expect to get from it, diligence is about rewarding my Master with the fullness of who I am. I have thought being able to consider myself fit for the the goal I set out to achieve was the ultimate measure of whether I should attempt it. But I am beginning to think differently. Maybe the ultimate reason for attempting any goal is that it be a blessing God. In this way, goals and obedience can serve the same purpose: Being an outlet through which my spirit says to God, I will do anything for You–whatever You say–even what I cannot, just so that You will be praised in the earth. I regard Your name as higher than my own; therefore, I will not consider anything about myself as the main thing in what I do. I will, instead, consider You and may that enable me to do much for Your glory. 


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