“The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.” (Proverbs 20:4, ESV)
Many are those who put little or no effort into their own spiritual progress, who nevertheless assume somehow they should still make progress. Little or no Bible study, little or no prayer, neglect of public worship and the Lord’s Supper, and then shock and grief over being weak and bound under their sins. I blush to think of the times that has been me.
Spiritual life is like natural life in this way: One can get older without maturing. If merely fed, but never taught to walk, talk, feed or dress themselves, nothing less than something truly horrible results. Something so far less than the human being is meant to be. And since the grand glory that Christ has saved us for is to bear His image, we need to be thoughtful in that regard.
This is not law, it is privilege. High privilege. For what greater gift can the Heavenly Father bestow upon any but that we might be most like His Son of any creatures in all His universe? It is astounding! It is beyond blessed, it is startlingly glorious beyond our dreams. Is it much then to take up thoughtful participation in this glory?
Beloved, Christ does not seek slaves to rules and regulations but slaves to love. Slaves to high and wonderful blessings and bestowals. Slaves to joy and hope and wonder. Slaves to being so filled with the wonder of what He has planned for us, that we give ourselves to it every moment of every day in the ever increasing experience of it even now.
It has often been said that those who aim at nothing, hit it. Let us not be those who aim at nothing in growing in Christ – but study to take on the privileges of the high office to which He has called us and for which He has redeemed us from our sins.
Having been plucked from the very pit of Hell, will we now balk to rejoice at learning the ways of the household of the King as His own beloved children?
Father! Seize my heart in full! Till I long for nothing more than all you have promised.
“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” (Proverbs 20:5, ESV)
Wise people seek to understand more clearly their own motives and desires. They do not become blind servants of their inward inclinations, but seek to see what’s really there – why they think and do as they do – that they might serve God in the inward man as well as in the outward actions.
It is incumbent upon us to seek out the knowledge of our own motivations. To live without examining our own hearts and minds is to fail to grow in true sanctification. A man of understanding seeks to know why he does what he does – so as to serve God with truth in the inward parts.
But know this as well child of God, as you go about this business, while by the illumination of the Spirit and the lens of the Word – great defilements will be uncovered – so will this wonder of reality: Every good thing you are prompted to do, is evidence that the Spirit of God is at work in you – perfecting His own. “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13, ESV)
Oh what a great Savior He is who has bought us for Himself!