Why Are You Waiting?
Do you ever put things off that you really should do immediately? That’s a silly question, I know, but one that we might seldom stop to answer. I have, at times, been known to put things off. In the summer time, I like to keep my grass cut below my knees (you shouldn’t let it get much taller than that) but occasionally I have been known to put that off for a few extra days. There have been a small handful of times when I have failed to complete an item on my “honey-do” list as promptly as Jamie might like. I guess most of us procrastinate sometimes. We wait until tomorrow to do what we could do today.
On one hand, I believe that there are certainly times when it is not necessary to do everything that we could possibly do every day. (e.g. run yourself into the ground trying to finish doing something that can wait). On the other hand, there are some things in life that are of such dire importance that it would be utterly devastating if you were to wait too late and miss your opportunity to do them.
A few things I’m not talking about: I’m not talking about missed opportunities to move forward financially. Too often we spend excess time working…while we wait to spend time with family. I’m also not talking about “sowing wild oats.” The world tries to convince us: “You won’t have a second chance to be young, so live it up!” Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 11:9, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment.” The world is right about one thing, you won’t have a second chance to be young…but how many of us regret missed opportunities to sin? Instead, it’s the sins themselves that we regret. The bottom line is that when time is no more, none of us will regret missing out on anything this world has to offer. Any eternal grief will only be caused by our failure to please God.
The question I am posing to you today is why are you waiting? Our earthly lives are the one chance we have to please our Heavenly Father and inherit eternal life. So let’s answer these questions with an open, honest heart.
Why are you waiting to reach out to the lost? “And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John ). A Christian is like a poor beggar who has found an unending supply of bread. What would we think of a beggar who found this eternal supply of bread, but selfishly kept it a secret while his family and friends went hungry? It is the same, only so much sadder, when an adopted child of God, who was once so lost in sin, finds the “bread of life” and does not tell all those he cares about. Jesus said, “…lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest” (John )!
Only by the grace of God have we been led to Jesus Christ and the saving power of His blood. It was His love for us that caused Jesus to remain on the cross and die. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Someone loved you enough to share the gift of hope with you. Are there not any whom you love enough to give that gift? When you decide to share the gospel of Christ with a lost soul, you can literally snatch them out of the fires of hell (Jude 23). Why are you waiting to help save lost souls?
Why are you waiting to lay aside the weight? If you are a Christian, you are running the race of a lifetime. “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1). Every sin and every thing you place before God is slowing your pace. A runner might work out with weights, even wear some weights on their ankles during practice, but when it’s time to run that race those weights are cast aside.
What is the weight that you’re attempting to carry along on your journey? Is it some sin that has wrapped itself around you? We all sometimes want to cry out with these words of Paul in Romans 7:15, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” However, to say “Well, we all sin…so I’m doing the best I can” is not good enough for God. He has given us weapons to fight evil, as well as the promise that we always have a way to escape temptations (I Corinthians ). Maybe your “weight” is not some blatant transgression of God’s law, but simply not putting enough emphasis on spiritual things. Jesus told, “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew ).
What message do you send to others about the importance of Christ and His church? What part of your heart yet lacks in your dedication to God? Why are you waiting to give God His rightful place in your life?
Why are you waiting to make your life right with God? The greatest need of any human is to be in a right relationship with God, the Father. As the good old song goes, “What do you hope, dear brother, to gain by a further delay? There’s no one to save you but Jesus, there’s no other way but His way.” What could you possibly hope to gain by delaying your decision to become a Christian or rededicate your life to the Lord? Another weekend of sinful pleasure? “Freedom” from God’s law? “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul” (Mark -37)?
Felix, A governor and a man of great authority, once heard the gospel message. As it was explained to him, he became afraid, and answered Paul, "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you." His fear caused him to put off obeying the gospel…as far as we know, he left this life without ever making this important decision (Acts 24).
King Agrippa, in the very next chapter (Acts 25), made this sad statement: “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” What is holding you back? Why are you waiting? Whatever your reason for waiting to submit to God, it is simply not worth your eternal soul. Believe in Jesus! “…For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24). The day will come when “Every knee shall bow, And every tongue shall confess to God." No matter where your life is in relation to God, that day will come! Its meaning for you will be determined by your life. Repent of your sins (Luke 13:3). Paul wrote in Romans 14:12, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” “Why do you wait, dear brother, O why do you tarry so long? Your Savior is waiting to give you a place in His sanctified throng.”
“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts )