Diligence: Developing a Warfare Mentality

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), December 23

imagesCanaan was Israel’s inheritance and its battleground throughout history—for those entering their inheritance, for those maintaining their inheritance, and for those returning to their inheritance.

One does not need go far in the lineages of 1 Chronicles to find warriors. Issachar is known for its warriors (1 Chron. 7:1-2, 5), Ephraim is noted for Israel’s fearless warrior-leader Joshua (7:27), and Benjamin is noted for its sons divorcing their wives and for producing Saul, Israel’s first warrior-King (8:8, 33). Their descendants were the ones who returned to Jerusalem following the Babylonian captivity (9:3, 7-9). They held weapons of war in one hand and builders’ tools in the other.

Being a mighty warrior requires a worthy cause (an inheritance), certain discipline (those committed to denying self and making the cause personal), and fellow warriors (joining forces with like-minded individuals).

The cause is redemption. The whole world lies under the influence of the wicked one and has been taken captive to do his will; only Christ’s redemption releases it.

It takes warriors to enter the inheritance of redemption, to rest in the inheritance of redemption, and to regain the inheritance after a long period of forsaking it. The Apostle Paul states that a believer’s weapons are not fleshly but spiritual (2 Cor. 10:3-4), but spiritual. He commands the use of these weapons: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). Salvation, truth, the Word of God, righteousness, evangelism, and prayer are weapons for defense and pressing forward.

Maintaining our inheritance and returning to our inheritance after forsaking it requires discipline. The genealogy of Christianity’s history is lined with such warriors who have “fought the good fight,” “finished the race,” and “kept the faith,” and who will “receive the crown of righteousness” from the Lord on that Day (2 Tim. 4:7-8).

Undisciplined people make poor warriors; therefore, that people might escape the corruption that is in the world through lust, the Apostle Peter commanded diligence: “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (2 Pet. 1:5-6). A promise accompanies this discipline—“For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:8, emphasis added)—as well as a warning—“For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins” (1:9). Peter urges believers to value and pursue virtue (moral excellence), knowledge, self-control (lives of restraint), perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

Appropriating and maintaining our spiritual inheritance requires the discipline, diligence, and the mentality of warriors.

“The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, but diligence is man’s precious possession” (Prov. 12:27).

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (1 Pet. 5:12-14; 2 Peter):
Describe Peter’s view of life.
What does Peter communicate about the transfiguration?
How does Peter describe false teachers? What is their primary motivation?
What does Peter teach regarding the day of the Lord’s coming?