Ever wonder, “Where did the time go?” You had one million-and-one things planned to do, got distracted, looked up and realized that the time had gotten away from you and none of the things you said you were going to do, got done. Most of us would just go to bed with the comfort of knowing that “It will eventually get done. After all, we still have tomorrow.”
But, do we really have tomorrow? Where in God’s word does He promise us the next day? Matter of fact, Proverbs 27:1 testifies to the contrary. In this passage, Solomon reminds us not to boast about tomorrow for we do not know what a day may bring. Recall the Parable of the Rich Fool who stored up plenty of “good things” in preparation for the future not knowing that his life would be demanded of him that very night. If we knew that this very night would be the night that God demanded our life, would we push our physical limits to complete all that He has commanded of us? Would we lose track of time because we’re so focused on finishing the task that would make us rich toward God? Would the things we’ve constantly put before Him immediately lose their value because we know our window for change would soon close for good?
The one thing that the saved, the ungodly and the sinner all have in common is the belief that “they have time”. The lack of timeliness and consistency in carrying out natural tasks has run over into our spiritual walks and left us as sluggards with our hands buried in the dish yet too lazy to bring them back to our mouths (Proverbs 19:24). Even with the tools necessary for spiritual growth in hand, we continue to be as unresponsive as those who lack, even the access to, such Truth. God’s people have done Him wrong. We are abusing His time and taking for granted His extended mercy.
In this season, God, in His mercy, repetitively warns us to heed to His commands. His Word has been so insistent because we don’t have the time we think we do. Messages, like When God Reveals My Heart, Breaking the Heart of God, The Prerequisites, and I Call It Like I See It, confront us with our idols and leave us with a decision to make. Will we continue to focus on that which benefits us yet has no heavenly value because we have no expectation for the master? Or, will we show ourselves faithful, readily determined, whenever He calls, to offer Him our best?
What would you do if you did wake up the next morning and thoroughly completed what you put off the night before? But then, just as you went to present what you believed to be some of your best effort to God, He said, “No thank you. I was expecting that yesterday. Today, it bears no fruit! It has no value to Me!” Most of us would argue our good intentions, which may be genuine, nonetheless, intentions alone are just that – intentions. It is only through our timely action that our intents gain value.
The battle has never been about our intentions – our mind, but about the heart. We all have the mind to do right. The problem occurs when the mind and the heart are not aligned. We think of many things, but how many of those thoughts actually develop into action. The few thoughts that do make it into action make it because they were not only in our minds, but in our heart as well. It is through our actions that the true contents of our hearts are revealed.
Has God spoken to you directly? Has He given you multiple dreams about the same thing? Perhaps, He has sent a messenger to tell you what He’d already shown you through another means. Regardless of the method He used, God has charged you with a task that has a deadline. Just as swift and unexpected as the Lord comes in the night (1Th 5:2), so shall He close His window of grace to those who disregard the importance of every task given.
What is it that keeps us from doing what we know is right? Has our love for God diminished to the point that we’ve become routine – doing just enough and giving nothing extra? Have we lost our reverence – doing just what is needed to keep the guilt away? Have we told God (under our breath, of course) to, “Stay in your place. I will do what I want, when I want. You just be ready when I need you!”?
Although we dare not say these things to God aloud, our actions show that this is what’s in our hearts. We have convinced ourselves that we’re safe and that our “set apart” status has, somehow, afforded us extra time to get the spiritual things in order. Yes, going to church and sharing the Word is good. But God is looking for instant obedience. It is not by coincidence that God charges us with the things that He does at the time that He does it. It is all according to His plan, and it is not our place to postpone anything.
Whether you procrastinate out of fear, feelings of inadequacy, or pure laziness, to delay in making a response to the requests of God is dangerous. The Bible says that one who slacks is the brother to one who destroys and his way is blocked with thorns (Pr 18:9;15:19). When we put off the things of God, we inflict upon ourselves troubles that were never the will of God.
The fruit of God’s commands are all tied to his timings. The seed He gave you to fertile last season won’t reap the intended fruit once the season has changed. And regardless of the amount of care you give, seeds tended out of season are unfruitful. Likewise, the fruit of procrastination is rotten (overdue). Proverbs 20:4 says, “A sluggard does not plow in the autumn, he will seek at harvest and have nothing.”
The Bible warns against slothfulness (Pr 15:19; 18:19); however, it commends hard work (Pr 12:24;13:4). Anything we do for God should be done with diligence. A Tyndale Life Application Bible footnote states it best: Proverbs makes it clear that diligence – being willing to work hard and do one’s best at any job given to him or her – is a vital part of wise living. We (should) work hard not to become rich, famous or admired (although those may be by-products), but to serve God with our very best during our lives.
It is important to remember that God controls the final outcome of all we do. We are accountable to always carry out our work with diligence – never lax. A gospel lyric of the song entitled, “Am I Enough?” by AJ Da Representative says, “Why did I take my glory to become you, if every time it’s time to change, you just make another excuse?”
Let’s stop giving God excuses about why we can’t do what He asks – when He asks. If He is Lord of your life, honor his timing. If He is the center of our lives, everything else should be planned around Him. So what’s the problem? Maybe we do not love Him like we think we do. Maybe He is not our center after all. Maybe, there is something else occupying our center and God is only one part of the one million-and-one things surrounding it. Let us be diligent about the things of God NOW. For tomorrow may be too late!