I have oftentimes found myself sitting down to study the word and in an instant the accusations fly with a vigorous force, rising from every corner in my mind. It says to me, “You cannot study, you must seek your God’s forgiveness. For he will not let you drink any of this word’s good fruits until you come to him in ashes.” These accusations seem so true until you obey its commands. Then, when I find myself in obedience to these commands do I find myself being taunted into a maze of conjuring up the correct manners in approaching God, “You must always begin your prayer in praise, if you don’t God does not hear what is said, for you have not approached him rightly.” This enemy leads me away from what would be utterly devastating to him, that is, and ingestion of the word of God, and leads me to another activity which I can find no manner of appropriately seeking my God. He leads me away from the one duty, the reading of scripture, which will prove so ruinous to sin’s course in my soul and directs me to another duty that I could not accomplish in the simplest way because my mind is so fraught with dissenting affections. My untrained conscience is mislead to and fro, away from deeds that would truly devastate my enemy, to deeds that my soul can find no safety in. And this is precisely what your enemy intends to do, to frustrate you out of your duty at hand.
Is your sin telling you of wickedness and that because of your wickedness your scripture reading will not profit you and so to avoid it? Your enemy sin does so because it has rightly estimated the deadly force which you are about to assault upon it with. Deny your indwelling foe this privilege of drawing your mind away from your duty: lift up the sword of the word of God and thrust it deep into your heart and soul, thereby piercing fatal wounds to the enemy that dwells inside of your heart and soul. Raise every affection that you can conjure against it, for be sure of this – he is doing the same against you.