Recently, some of the problems my family and I had experienced in our neighborhood in the past arose once again. When they first resurfaced, I felt somewhat confused and bewildered. I had prayed and stood on God's promises for peace for my "borders" (Psalm 147:14), and I had witnessed the delivering power of God in mighty ways. But I had begun to take God's blessings for granted. When the problems threatened once again, I sought the Lord for the reason. He promptly pointed out to me that my prayers in that area had gone from earnest to anemic. And He reminded me that I needed to continue to stand in faith for the peace of my neighborhood if I wanted to regain and maintain the victory I had won before.
Hebrews 6:12 NIV says--"We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." I realized that I had become a "spiritual sluggard"--as the Amplified Bible version of this verse says--at least where this issue was concerned. When the problem was at its worst, I used my faith and patience to lay hold of God's promises for the situation. But as soon as the problem showed signs of subsiding, I slacked off. That was a big mistake. Even so, it was a reminder of how important it is for us to continue to stand in faith for God's blessings, even when it looks like our prayers have already been answered. Proverbs 13:4 NIV says--"The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied." Those of us who want God's blessings badly enough to diligently pray for them will find that diligence produces results. Do you ever feel like you want to take a "spiritual vacation"? I do. There are days when I wake up and think, "I don't feel like praying or standing on God's promises today. I don't feel like reading my Bible or seeking God's face." But I have found that spiritual passivity can be very costly. Are there areas in your life in which you've spiritually "slacked off"? If so, you may be hindering the flow of God's blessings into your life. Don't make the devil's job easy for him. Satan is relentless, and we need to be relentless, too. Talk to the Lord about any areas in your life that you might be neglecting spiritually. And ask Him to help you get back on track. It won't be long before you're reaping a harvest of blessings that keeps on coming!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times that I've been a "spiritual sluggard." Give me the grace I need to stand in faith for all of the blessings You have in store for me and my loved ones. When I'm tempted to take a "spiritual vacation," remind me of what it can cost me. Thank You that my diligence will defeat the enemy and glorify You!
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