[This fourth set of questions is to help in reading John Owen’s great treatise on Spiritual Mindedness. These are based on Part 1, chapter 10, accessible at the link highlighted.]
Q17 What will help us when we find great difficulty in this duty?
a) we ought to be humbled by the vanity, inconstancy and earthly mindedness of our thoughts
b) we ought to acknowledge our own insufficiency to raise or manage spiritual thought by our natural ability (2 Cor 3:5)
c) we ought to distinguish between frequent and natural thoughts of God and the duty of spiritual meditation at set times
d) we ought to expect great difficulty in this duty that requires great diligence and exertion from us.
e) we ought to dedicate the best possible appropriate part of our time especially for this duty.
Q18 What things help spiritual mindedness?
a) a continual watch upon the soul against vain thoughts (Prov 4:23)
b) avoiding company, activities and situations that draw our minds into an earthly condition
c) constraining the mind to abide in the duty of spiritual thoughts by urging the necessity and benefit of it
d) diligent use of means to have a continual source of spiritual things before our minds
e) unweariedness in resisting Satan’s fiery darts seeking to divert us from duty
f) continual watch that no corruption become predominant so as to consume our endeavours after spiritual mindedness
g) mortification to the world in our affections and desires
Q19 How much time should we give to this duty?
We are to give the most and best of our time to this duty.
Q20 What should we do when find great hindrance and no real success in seeking to engage and persist in spiritual thoughts?
a) we must cry to God for help, mourning over our weakness and inability
b) we must turn our broken meditations into supplications and be encouraged that if there is a ready mind it is accepted according to that a man hath and not what he hath not