“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Cor. 9:27)
We must be diligent, always and continuously.
I believe that many Christians, far too many perhaps, attempt to place the blame of their failures to be profitable servants to the Lord on our adversary, when they have forgotten, Eve was punished, yet was deceived. The fault was laid at her feet.
The Lord hears when we ask for forgiveness, but He does not listen to excuses, and attempting to lay the blame at Satan’s feet will not work. You are accountable for your actions. Now, if Satan attacks you, that can at times be a different story, for he can only do so when allowed by the Lord, Job is our example here. We must be able to say as he did in these times, “What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10)
But in most areas, in fact I would say in the majority of them, you are responsible to see the traps that are on the path ahead. “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Cor. 2:11)
If the Holy Spirit had Paul write that for our edification, then in the Scriptures you can find what it is that we are to be aware of, what those traps and pitfalls look like. One key, if you will, is to open the Word of God and start searching for all the things that God says He hates, if He hates it, then we should hate it as well, and do everything within our power to avoid them. Look for the items in the Scriptures that are not of God, that come from the sinful nature of man and from our adversary, do the research. Until you know what to be diligent against, you will never know what to stand for.
This is why one of Satan’s greatest ploys in the last few decades has been to get people to believe that God is only love, not that He is love, but that it is His overriding character trait. What if I was to say to you that God is wrath, would I be wrong? What about righteous indignation, fury, or any other trait that most would see as the opposite of what love is, would that not also express who God is?
Satan is subtle, it is how he works, and I will repeat myself here, for him to be the father of lies, he must first know and understand what the truth is. It is not possible to tell a lie unless you have the realization of what the truth is.
Diligent my friends, constantly, without wavering.
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) It is estimated by many God-fearing men that only twenty-five percent of the people in any given church are saved. That means that at least seventy-five percent are being deceived. How many of you take at least a few notes in church, and then sometime after the sermon compare those notes, and what the pastor said during his sermon, against the Word of God? How many are sitting in churches where they know that the message is incorrect consistently, but continue to return week after week? How many are sitting where they know they should not be, but are fearful to leave for any number of reasons?
It does no good to be diligent and not act upon that diligence.
There may come a time when you may need to come to the realization that the place you thought was where you were supposed to be is not where you should be. Diligence in this area requires a strict adherence to the Word of God, if where you attend church is deviating from salvation issues, and they will not accept correction, you must leave. And my friends, these places are not difficult to find today.
These same men of God I mentioned earlier believed another thing in unison, the church began in people’s homes, in the homes of those who served Christ diligently, whose lives were submitted to the glory of God, and in the homes of believers is where the church will return to.
The Most High always calls us out of something to draw us closer to Him.