Diligence in any direction is like investing in a stock that pays dividends. Which is just another way of saying, “You reap what you sow.”
The Psalmist describes evildoers this way, “They search out iniquities.” Implying that you can be an A+ student in wickedness. And the way to get good at sinning is by practice, research, repetition, and, once more, diligence. Perpetuating some great evil begins by a life devoted to many, seemingly minuscule, evils. If you invest your time, inner thoughts, and secret deeds to wickedness and you’ll be paid out in dividends of corrupt gain.
One insightful, old-school missionary laid out what he called “The Seven Steps to Hell.” The first step is simply trifling with sin. It’s folding the hands to slumber a bit longer than is prudent, and financial ruin comes. It’s wandering down the digital harlot’s Instagram feed that leads into the gaping mouth of hell. It’s simmering with covetousness that brings you to crush your brother’s skull.
But, just as diligence in evil produces greater evil, the opposite is held out to us as the path of the righteous. The righteous go from strength to strength. The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Peter tells us to “be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless (2 Pt. 3:14).”
This life of diligent obedience is only possible because God has graciously poured out upon You His Spirit. God dwells in you. But faithful obedience doesn’t mean that temptations will lessen. Quite the opposite. Greater opposition, trial, and temptation await. And it is this way so that you can say, in the end, “to God alone be the glory; for all my sins have been forgiven and all my righteousness is His.”
Prayer of Confession
Father…How many are diligent in seeking out their own misery? Your Word summons mankind to faith in You, to walk in the blessed ways of Your commands, and to revel in the joy which comes from obedience to Your statutes. Creation itself leaves mankind without excuse for his continual deliberate rebellion. We have worshipped and served false gods, and it ought not be so. Even we in Your church have found out ways to give lip service to You, while our hearts fondle wicked grudges, ponder carnal desires, and seethe with unjust wrath. Grant us grace to diligently flee from these and all other iniquities, and give us a heart that is fixed & steadfast in seeking after You. In Jesus name, Amen.
There’s only two ways to live. One is diligent in evil, the other is diligent in faith. One is the path of misery, the other the path of supreme joy. By confessing your sins, and looking to Christ alone for salvation, you can be assured that these joyful tidings of God’s forgiveness through Christ are indeed for you.