In the second section of his book, Thomas Brooks looks at how Satan tries to stop us carrying out our religious duties…espcially our devotional life. I was amazed at how honest Brooks was about our struggle with reading and praying.
He put’s it like this:
Says Satan, it is so hard and difficult a thing to pray as you should, and to wait on God as you should, and to walk with God as you should, and to be lively, warm, and active in the communion of saints as you should, that you were better ten thousand times to neglect them, than to meddle with them. Doubtless by this device Satan has and does keep off thousands from waiting on God and from giving to him that service that is due to his name.
Brooks gives many remedies, but this is my favorite:
The second remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider,
That the Lord Jesus will make his services easy to you, by the sweet discovery of himself to your souls, while you are in his service. ‘You meet him who rejoices and works righteousness,’ as the prophet Isaiah says (Is. 64:5). The word in the Hebrew is diversely taken; but most take the word here to signify ‘to meet a soul with those affections of love and tenderness as the father of the prodigal met the prodigal with.’
God is Pater miserationum, he is all affections; he is swift to show mercy, as he is slow to anger. If meeting with God, who is goodness itself, beauty itself, strength itself, glory itself—will not sweeten his service to your soul, nothing in heaven or earth will.
Jacob’s meeting with Rachel, and enjoying of Rachel, made his hard service to be easy and delightful to him; and will not the soul’s enjoying of God, and meeting with God, render his service to be much more easy and delightful? Doubtless it will. The Lord will give that sweet assistance by his Spirit and grace, as shall make his service joyous and not grievous, a delight and not a burden, a heaven and not a hell, to believing souls.