We are great at making excuses. When God calls us to do something for Him, it seems we have a ready arsenal of reasons He needs to ask someone else. In fact, judging by own life and observations of life in general, there is apparently no right time to do the work of the Kingdom.
Sometimes we’re too young, while other times we’re too old. We don’t have enough money to help, or we have too many resources to be able to sacrifice them all. Whatever the request, we always seem able to manufacture an excuse as to why now is not a good time.
I’m reminded of the story of the man who wanted to follow Jesus but first wanted to say goodbye to His family (Luke 9:59-60). Jesus told Him that the opportunity was before him; there wasn’t time to go back and say a proper farewell to his loved ones. If he wanted to follow Christ, he would have to act in that moment and forget everything else. There was no waiting for the stars to align or for every circumstance to be perfect. If the man was to be a true disciple, he had to be willing to follow Jesus even if the timing wasn’t exactly ideal.
Another man wanted to follow Jesus, but before he was ready to go, he asked to go bury his father (Luke 9:61-62). Again, Jesus told Him that the moment was now. The man could either seize this time of divine decision, or he could walk away to continue leading his ordinary life. The Scripture seems to indicate that he chose the ordinary over the extraordinary. How tragic for him, but sadder still is that we live out this same story every day.
We can’t declare that we are sold out to Jesus while at the same time wait to follow Him until our lives are in perfect order. I’ve got bad news for you; our lives will never be in perfect order. As long as sin has dominion on our planet, our lives will continue to be messed up and imperfect. There will never be a perfect situation in which we say, “Okay Lord, I’ve got all my affairs in order; I’m ready to follow!” Rather, we have to stop in the middle of what we’re doing, walk away from the mess of our life and recognize that there will never be a better time to follow Jesus.
There can be no wrong time to devote your life to the One who created and loves you. The sooner we walk away from all that we’ve known, the quicker we will move into a life beyond our wildest dreams. We have no guarantee of safety or ease, but we are promised a life of significance and internal peace. Following Jesus can be hard, and may expose you to everything from ridicule to torture to perhaps even death. Remember, Christ endured all of this and more for our sake; why should we expect to suffer any less? It’s not a rosy picture that looks good in a recruitment brochure, but here is the alternative: if we do not follow Christ with all of our hearts, untold numbers will face an eternity in hell. If we do not do our part, there are people who will not be reached with the Gospel of Christ. If we do not do our part, we may even risk our very souls.
Jesus calls us to drop everything and follow Him. There must be no hesitation and no waiting. Everything we knew before Jesus must immediately be discarded as we leap into the adventure of following Him. There is no such thing as mediocrity in devotion. We either give our lives to Him, or we risk eternity without Him. What is it you need to release? What is holding you back from following Christ? Nothing on earth is important enough to keep from surrendering to Him. It is only when we are willing to lose our life that we will find it in Him (Matthew 16:24-27). Don’t wait for the perfect time to follow Jesus. That moment is now; no more excuses.