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“Why is this door closed, Lord?”
“What’s my next step?”
“Where are You, Lord? I can’t hear you!”
“My prayers seem to hit the ceiling, and bounce back down.”
If I were to take a survey …
I believe we would find out that every Christian has asked these questions or made these statements at some point.
During this series, I have been sharing signs that indicate believers may be heading in the wrong direction, away from God’s best for our lives.
This week, read Sign #5 – Delaying Obedience.
“You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14
Oh! Do I ever write this article with trembling hands! I too have reaped the consequences of not obeying God’s directives right away. Whether by procrastinating, or simply because I did not want to do it, I have certainly experienced the lack of peace, direction, and, worse of all – God’s silence – no doubt a consequence of delayed obedience.
‘Tomorrow’ is the excuse of the lazy and refuge of the incompetent.” Nolbert Quayle
Quayle’s words may be harsh, but the principle behind them make me shudder. Truth be told, most of us often can be found guilty of waiting for tomorrow to do that which should be done today. And although procrastination on small tasks may seem inconsequential, the effect in an individual’s life can never be fully evaluated.
That truth receives an even deeper dimension when we procrastinate taking one small step toward obeying something we know God wants us to do.
I believe one of the reasons we fail to obey God promptly on small things is that we don’t usually realize that He has to lay small foundations before revealing to us the big picture of what He has in store for us.
He gives us a simple direction, and waits for our obedience before revealing the next step. In our pride or honest ignorance, we may think that small steps may not be important enough, and that waiting to take them should not affect the outcome of God’s plan for our lives. However, we must remember that God seeks a relationship of trust from us, and therefore the tiniest step of obedience can be used as a key element to unlock our future.
I think about my personal experience, and how I procrastinated to obey God on a seemingly small directive for my life. For years, I lived in a spiritual limbo, caught in the busyness of religion instead of in the fullness of a personal relationship with the Father. I tried to fill my spiritual life with religious routines and check boxes, altogether ignoring some quite simple directions I received from Him. Incapable of seeing the big picture, I deemed safe to procrastinate in taking small steps, often excusing my disobedience: “I will do this when I understand it better.” Or, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
In the meantime, tomorrow turned into a week, a month, a couple of years.
As I look back and realize the wasted time, I can only conceptualize the difference that prompt obedience would have made. I will never know for sure. And although I am grateful for a God of grace and second chances, I really do not wish to gamble with my destiny anymore.
Today, when He shows me what I need to do, I try my best to take the smallest of steps right away, even though I oftentimes don’t understand it. Because I’ve lived long enough to know that a small step toward God may just be the difference between mediocrity or success, joy or defeat.
Blog Series: Six Signs You Are Heading in the Wrong Direction
How is God encouraging you today?