Proverbs contrasts the sluggard who craves and gets nothing with the diligent whose soul is richly supplied, or literally, made fat (13:4).
No matter how much the sluggard craves something, his inherent laziness precludes him from acquiring anything. He is a victim of his own sins of sloth.
There is only one road to a richly supplied, spiritually fat soul. It’s called diligence. If you and I want a richly supplied soul by God’s grace, we must work at it. Hard.
J. C. Ryle, in his book, Holiness, said true Christianity will cost a man his love of ease.
He must take pains and trouble if he means to run a successful race toward heaven. He must daily watch and stand on his guard, like a soldier on enemy’s ground. He must take heed to his behavior every hour of the day, in every company and in every place, in public as well as in private, among strangers as well as at home. He must be careful over his time, his tongue, his temper, his thoughts, his imagination, his motives, his conduct in every relation of life. He must be diligent about his prayers, his Bible reading, and his use of Sundays, with all their means of grace. In attending to these things, he may come far short of perfection; but there is none of those who he can safely neglect. “The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat” (Prov. 13:4) (emphasis mine).
Two emphases tomorrow at OGC will converge towards the end of promoting richly supplied souls for those who participate. In the 9:30 hour (meeting in the sanctuary this week) we will continue our study in Carson’s book, A Call to Spiritual Reformation. We have resupplied our resource table with copies that will be available tomorrow. Few books can help us more with how to grow in diligence in our prayers for a richly supplied soul. In the worship service I will preach another New Year’s sermon, this one from Colossians 3:1-4, entitled How to Stop the Sinful Self-Indulgence of the Flesh. Paul uses a diligence verb in his command in verse one – seek the things above where Christ is. Praying is one important way we do seeking that our souls may be richly supplied.
Diet all you will in the New Year that the body may return to fitness after the indulgence of the holidays. But take pains, eschew your love of ease, be diligent, seek the things above, that your soul may be made fat, richly supplied indeed.
Get a good night’s sleep and, Lord willing, I will see you tomorrow.