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Food For The Lambs Or Helps For Young Christians by Charles Ebert Orr

DILIGENCE.

|O for a closer walk with God!| This is the inward pleading of many a precious blood-washed soul. I beg leave to tell you that that fulness of God, that deep and perfect satisfaction of soul, that sweet feeling of deep reverence, that hushed and sacred feeling of awe, that close walk with God, is obtained and retained only by the utmost diligence. Slothfulness in the Christian life is a sure source of degeneration. Too frequently when saints reach |fair Canaan's happy land| they think they have nothing now to do but to sing and shout and praise God and go to heaven |on flowery beds of ease.| To every newly arrived Christian in Canaan is given the command, |Go forward and possess the land.| To do this battles must be fought, giant foes must be defeated, and the greatest diligence must be practised. God promised ancient Israel to drive out all the nations of Canaan from before them, and that every place whereon the soles of their feet should tread should be theirs, if they would diligently keep all the commandments that the Lord commanded them, to love the Lord, to walk in his ways, and to cleave unto him. See Deut.11:22-24.

If we will diligently obey God and go forward at his command he will lead us where the milk and honey flow, and where the pastures are green. Our walk with him will be sweet and our souls perfectly satisfied. Since the term diligence is so frequently used in Scripture and such emphasis placed upon it, it is well worth our time to learn its meaning. We often, among the saints, hear testimonies like these: |I am living up to all the Word of God|; or, |All the Bible requires of me, I am doing|; |I love God and find delight in doing all his will,| etc. Such expressions are very full of meaning and may sometimes mean more than the witness comprehends. Let me ask you, Are you as diligent in every respect as the Bible commands you to be?

Diligence implies an earnest and constant effort to accomplish a desired end -- a carefulness, a heedfulness, an industry, a close and fixed attention.

Many a heart has been robbed of the love of God because it was not kept by diligence. Many a beloved saint can look back to a few years ago when his soul was more fully satisfied and his heart abounded more in the love of God, and all because diligence was not given to |keep the heart.| In Josh.22:5 the commandment is to take diligent heed to love God, to walk in his ways, to keep his commandments, to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all the heart and with all the soul. May the Lord help the reader to comprehend the strength of this commandment. O how precious! To take diligent heed to love God, implies a careful avoidance of everything that would have a tendency to suppress his love in our hearts and to eagerly seek all possible means of increasing that love. All company whose spirit and conversation have a tendency to destroy love is avoided as far as possible without violating the command, |Be courteous.| Reading amusing stories; telling amusing, worldly incidents, the happenings of bygone days; fondness for the general news of the day; gossiping; admiration for the pomp and show of the world; careless, idle thoughts; fondness for society, -- all serve to extinguish the love of God in our hearts. Talking with others about God and his works, reading his Word, meditating upon him, praying, attending meetings, doing good to all men, giving of our means to advance his cause, -- all these increase the love in our hearts toward him. To be diligent, to serve the Lord with all the heart and with all the soul, is to be industrious in doing all we can for him; seeking opportunities of doing good, carefulness in obeying all his commands, testifying to the works of God, and showing forth his praises continually.

Your soul may long for a closer walk with God, and well that it does; but if you do not keep your heart with all diligence from the world, you will never enjoy the blessed experience. But by giving diligence you can have such a walk with God as to fully satisfy your soul.

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