Friday, March 24, 2017

The Cost of Your Excuses

Excuses. We all make them. We use them to justify things like why we can't lose weight, can't get out of debt, can't get that job we've always wanted and more. Robin Sharma said "excuses are just the lies your fears have sold you." Have you ever stopped to consider the reasons behind your excuses and what your life would look like if you stopped making them?

I want to share a parable with you that I hope will challenge the way you think about excuses.

What has God prepared for you that your excuses are getting in the way of?

A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, "Come, the banquet is ready." But they all began making excuses. One said, "I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me." Another said, "I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me." Another said, "I just got married, so I can’t come." The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, "Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame." After the servant had done this, he reported, "There is still room for more." So his master said, "Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet."
Luke 14:15-24
 I hope the last line of that parable shakes you up a little bit like it does me: "None of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet" Like the man who prepared the banquet, God has made incredible plans for each of us, but just like the banquet guests we tend to make excuse after excuse in our spiritual lives. We make excuses out of fear, laziness, lack of time, lack of resources, lack of confidence. The list goes on. But as we continue to make excuses, we continue to miss out on what God has for us.

For a long time I felt God calling me to be on my church's prayer team. I longed to stand at the altar and lift up people who were hurting and rejoice with those who were rejoicing, but I had more than a handful of excuses why I couldn't. Most of my excuses came from a place of fear. I argued that I wasn't qualified, I wouldn't know what to say, I was too young, no one would want to pray with me anyway. I justified my disobedience by believing that "someday" I would be spiritually mature enough. 

Despite my resistance, God continued to nudge me, despite his nudging I continued to make excuses, for over a year. Eventually I decided I would no longer ignore God's voice and I finally joined the prayer team. Throughout the first service my heart pounded, I couldn't relax, couldn't focus on the sermon. Even my sister who was sitting next to me commented on my nervousness. When it came time for the invitation, I stepped out of my seat and hesitantly headed to the altar and took my place next to people I considered much more qualified than myself. Immediately my fear was gone and I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. 

That's the thing about saying "yes" to God's plans for our lives, when we do, all of our excuses are made void. If it's time you don't think you have, He'll make it. If it's confidence you're lacking, He'll provide it. When you believe you're unqualified, He qualifies you. What I've found is that the things I excuse myself from are typically the things that God wants to use to stretch me, to develop me into the person He created me to be.

My questions for you today is what has God prepared for you that your excuses are getting in the way of?  

5 comments:

  1. Visiting from Faith filled Fridays. It is so beautiful how the Lord knows how to meet our desires in His purposes. What joy you must have now that you have put away your fear and listened to His nudge. May your soul be refreshed as He uses your words of prayer to touch hearts with His love. Thank you for making this parable so real through your transparency in sharing your struggle. Sweet Blessings to you.

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    1. Yes, it has brought me joy and taught me to trust him and set aside my fears in other areas of my life. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment!

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  2. I love this, it's so easy to get distracted by what we feel like is good enough for us right now when God has something so much bigger planned for us! He invited us to the wedding feast and so often we say "no thanks, I'd rather have this TV dinner." We constantly settle, and I think that's because we don't quite realize just how big God is. He's so much bigger and smarter than us, and his plan for each of us is better than anything we could come up with. It's hard to put God's plan above my own, but this is inspiring me to keep on trying to do just that.

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    1. Amen! The TV dinner looks great sometimes but if we look beyond our comfort and beyond our fears God always has something better in mind for us! Thank you for reading!

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  3. Definitely our own fears & self doubt can strangle obedience. Hard lesson to learn, but worth it. Well written! :-)

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