Hebrews 6:11-12 says, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Diligence is a character trait that exemplifies the Lord. When I think of the word ‘sluggish’ I am taken back to Proverbs 6:6. It says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.” The ant is such a diligent insect. Verse7-8 says, “Which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.”
Think of these two words: gathers and supplies. Remember the manna? They had to go out and gather it every morning to provide food for the day. What a marvelous picture for us in our daily reading of God’s word.
Diligence carries the meaning of enthusiasm and earnestness. It is the absolute opposite of sluggard. In 1986 I was in Costa Rica on a short term mission trip. I saw a sloth for the first time in my life. Slow doesn’t even describe this creature. It was up in a tree on a limb. Its crawl was almost unnoticeable.
2 Peter 1:3 says, “But also for this very reason…” We have to go back up to verse 4 which says, “By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature…”
Verse 3 goes on, “…giving all diligence, ADD to your faith…” Add is an active word. None of these inner graces come through osmosis.
Here is a list of things to add: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. Verse 8 says, “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Barrenness is sluggard-fruit. To spiritually thrive requires diligence. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says that it is God’s word that is our tool to pull down strongholds.
Strongholds are mindsets that oppose God’s will and ways. They started out as fiery darts. As sluggards in our faith, we allowed them to penetrate. The enemy of our soul buried them deep so they would permeate our thought processes. Look for stubborn behaviors and you will find them rooted in an inner stronghold. Let us seize God’s word and uproot and destroy them. Planting His eternal word in their place.