Saturday, November 7, 2009

Listlessness & Sloth? May it never be!

Exposure to Edwards...

Each Saturday I try to expose you to Jonathan Edwards. I was reading some of his diary entries tonight and came across one for a Saturday evening. I thought it might be both appropriate and beneficial to share this entry from Saturday, January 5, 1723:

“A little redeemed from a long dreadful dullness, about reading the Scriptures. This week, have been unhappily low in the weekly account: - and what are the reasons of it? – abundance of listlessness and sloth; and if this should continue much longer, I perceive that other sins will begin to discover themselves. It used to appear to me, that I had not much sin remaining; but now, I perceive that there are great remainders of sin. Where may it not bring me to, if God should leave me? Sin is not enough mortified. Without the influences of the Spirit of God, the old serpent, would begin to rouse up himself from his frozen state, and would come to life again.

Resolved, that I have been negligent in two things: - not striving enough in duty; and in not forcing myself upon religious thoughts.”

What a powerful portion of insight in this brief diary entry. We can learn quite a lesson should we desire to. Now, I know, what Jerry Bridges would say, and I would agree; we are not on a performance basis with our God. We can miss a devotion or two and God is not going to be upset or set out to get us. We must always guard against allowing Scripture reading or devotions to become mechanical or rote. After all, our time in the Scripture is a time of fellowship and meeting with the living God not a system or routine to complete.

How often are we dreadfully dull about reading our bibles? It is so easy to become listless or slothful – here are words we rarely hear or use any more. The tragic consequence is that the “old serpent” will raise his head and sins will begin to multiply should we leave off time alone in the Word.

May it never be! I trust that all of would be aware of our danger when we fail to get alone with God. May each of discipline ourselves to fight and stave off both listlessness and sloth. May each of adopt the same resolve about any negligence in our lives.

What do you think?

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