The Only Thing Keeping Me From Playing Jazz Piano


I’d like to play jazz piano.? And speak a foreign language. And be good at fly fishing.

Only problem is, I don’t want to do the work required to accomplish those things. What am I missing? Diligence.

How many believers would like to be able to encourage others by quoting appropriate Scriptures? How many would like to see more prayers answered? How many would like to bear more fruit for Christ? Every believer desires these things, but how many of us are willing to exert the effort?

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. PR 13.4

The Holy Spirit transforms us, but he works through means. He works through our diligence in reading, studying, and memorizing Scripture. He works through our day-in, day-out faithfulness in prayer or using our gifts. Though diligence alone can’t produce fruit, the Spirit uses it and “richly supplies” the soul of the diligent.

In the words of Charles Spurgeon:

“Always at it” wins the day. Perseverance conquers every difficulty by its dogged determination. He that will not be beaten cannot be beaten. He who keeps on pegging away will do it sooner or later.

So keep on pegging away at memorizing that Scripture verse. Keep praying for your loved ones with dogged determination.? Keep pursuing your devotions, even if they’ve been dry. Don’t be beaten. Keep asking the Lord to help you. Don’t give up until you are richly supplied.

photo by Danny.

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I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I’ve written a lot of worship songs. I also like to paint.

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  1. says

    Thanks so much for sharing this today Mark, much needed!
    I love the way that the Lord works, it may seem like we are doing the work, but in reality it is His Spirit that is enabling and even giving us the desire to do all of the things that are needed for our growth. I heard a pastor say once that it's kind of like us trying to lift an extremely heavy boulder and we are giving all of our strength and effort and the boulder finally gets lifted and while it may look like we did the lifting, all the while God's hand has been slowly lifting the weight of the huge boulder. I'm sure that I probably screwed up that analogy but the point is it's our effort coupled with the strength that God provides.
    Ron Reffett

    • says

      Great illustration, Ron. I'm sure that anything we accomplish is only because of the Lord's grace, though we exert ourselves as well. It's an amazing mystery. I think you should figure out how it works and report back to all of us!

    • says

      Yeah Elaine, that Spurgeon guy had a way of putting things – though this is from his collection of Proverbs and Sayings, so he may have been quoting a popular proverb then commenting on it.

  2. says

    I've had a life-long battle to replace the "cravings of the sluggard" with the "desires of the diligent."

    I need to grow in persistence … cultivate holy habits.

    This reminds me of a saying I ran across recently:
    “Habits are first cobwebs, then cables.” — Spanish Proverb

    • says

      Dave, your battle sounds like mine. At my core, apart from God's Spirit, I'm the laziest person I know. I'm so grateful the Lord has helped me cultivate some measure of diligence. But I too have to work at cultivating holy habits. Great proverb!

  3. Mitzi Evans says

    Thanks i love the quote by Charles Spurgeon…

    “Always at it” wins the day. Perseverance conquers every difficulty by its dogged determination. He that will not be beaten cannot be beaten. He who keeps on pegging away will do it sooner or later."
    I posted this on my Facebook along with your article…GOD bless you for the encouragement!

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