Don The Armour

February 9, 2024

The exercises of the worship of God are contrary to nature; therefore there must be a provoking of ourselves to them. The movement of the soul towards sin is natural, but its movement towards heaven is violent. The stone moves easily to the center. It has an innate propensity downward, but to draw up a millstone into the air is done by violence because it is against nature. So to lift up the heart to heaven in duty is done by violence and we must provoke ourselves to it.

Thomas Watson, Heaven Taken by Storm


If we acknowledge that our natural state is sinful and depraved, then it must follow that sin and depravity are the things that come easily to us. I have often heard professing believers blame their negligence in prayer and reading scripture on the fact that they find it difficult as though this were a unique problem to them! Every saint finds these things difficult because they are contrary to our nature. The fact that they are challenging is proof of their goodness. When we think of it in this light, we realize that we have to exert a kind of holy violence in performing these spiritual duties, similar to physical training.

Naturally, we want to be comfortable, and training your body requires making yourself uncomfortable. It is a violent action against ourselves. We must struggle against our comfort and nature to grow, but the more we do it, the easier it becomes. And it doesn’t become easier because the work is less; the work should increase as we grow. But we embrace the struggle and become accustomed to it.

The same principle applies to exercising our faith in spiritual duties. At first, our endeavors may be weak, but God will see our sincerity in seeking him and bless our efforts, making them more fruitful.

May be when the sincere soul is about a duty, he doth it weakly; yet this very willingness of the heart is wonderful pleasing to God. How doth it affect and take the father, when he bids his little child go and bring him such a thing, that may be as much as he can well lift, to see him not stand and shrug at the command as hard, but run to it, and put forth his whole strength about it; though at last may be he cannot do it, yet the willingness of the child pleaseth him, so that his weakness rather stirs up the father to pity and help him, than provokes him to chide him.

William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour

If you find praying, meditating, or reading the word difficult, take heart because this is not unusual! Even still, open your Bible, get on your knees in prayer, and do these things daily, like a soldier training with a sword. Growth comes through suffering and perseverance.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance

Romans 5:3 (ESV)