After writing my last article, Getting Ahead of God, I began to ask myself whether there are times when we also get behind God and miss out on what He’s doing. My instant gut reaction was in the affirmative and it didn’t take long for me to think of examples in Scripture to support this idea (Luke 10:25-37). In fact, getting behind God may be just as prevalent and equally fatal as getting ahead of Him.
So what does it mean to get behind God? Getting behind God means missing opportunities that God provides for us in the now moment. “Don't withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it. Don't say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it to you,’ when you have it with you.” (Proverbs 3:27-28)
“I’ll get to it later” is a common excuse. Here are some others that my rational mind regularly comes up with to put off the good work God prompts me to do.
“If I give all my stuff away, I’ll have nothing for myself.”
“This is too inconvenient; it can’t be God’s will.”
“It’s not my job. Someone else will take care of it.”
“I’m too busy.”
The reasons for not moving forward with God are numerous, but underneath each excuse lie some deeper heart issues like fear, procrastination, stubbornness, misguided belief systems, selfishness, unbiblical prioritization, laziness, slowness of heart, stinginess and worldliness, to name a few.
So ask yourself the question, “What keeps me from doing the good that God prompts me to do?”
I find that the greatest cure for inaction is to say a quick prayer (for guidance, strength, courage etc.) and then to delve right into the next need that presents itself. Yes, there are times when I take a more calculated approach by prioritizing the things I need to do in order of importance before moving forward, but even this analysis can often lead to paralysis. "Should I do this or that?" So I find it better to just start somewhere, even if it’s a small task. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)
John Wesley may have captured the heart of God best on this matter when he said, "Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can."
Apart from doing good for others, I think the greatest missed shot in life comes when we never make the firm decision to follow God and Christ. This is a decision that God does not want us to put off until later. “For he says, ‘At an acceptable time I listened to you, In a day of salvation I helped you.’ Behold, now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Jesus made the gospel message clear when he said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18) Simply put, if you place your trust in Jesus as Savior you will be given eternal life, but if you forsake him you will be condemned.
With a message so plain and the rewards or punishment so great, it makes you wonder why anyone would ever delay turning to Jesus or worse yet refuse the offer of salvation. Jesus went on to explain, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:19-21) Jesus explained that people procrastinate putting their trust in Him because they don’t want to set aside their sinful ways.
It is true that turning to God requires us to turn from sin. It’s what the Bible calls repentance. Yet, I’ve never met a true born again Christian who ever said, “I wish I would have waited a little longer before coming to know Jesus.” In fact, most people hit themselves over the head thinking, “What on earth was I waiting for?”
I was one of those people. When God finally opened my eyes to see the beauty of Christ, I began to regret the years that had past and the sins that had accumulated for not coming sooner. I trust God’s sovereignty in the matter, knowing He had to chisel away at my calloused heart for some time before I was ready.
Knowing what I know now, my advice to anyone reading these words who has not yet surrendered their life to Christ is this: Don’t delay any longer. Jesus died so that you can live. Open your heart and invite Him inside. Seek God now for forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ.
If it is your desire to accept Jesus as your Lord (Master) and make him your Savior (Forgiver), I invite you to pray this simple prayer:
“Lord God, I come before you now admitting I am a sinner who needs a Savior. I put my faith in Jesus Christ and his death on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins. Cleanse me and wash me of all my sins and fill my life with your love and grace. Empower me to do good and to tell others about Your Son.”
If you prayed that prayer for the first time, please let me know so I can personally congratulate you and welcome you into God’s family. For those of you who have already accepted Christ, I want to urge you in the Lord to not procrastinate from telling others of the great news of God’s Son. The time is NOW!