“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 2:7 (NKJV)
I was recently handling a disobedience issue with one of my children – from the time I asked her to complete a simple task, until the time the task was actually complete, was over two hours.
As I discussed this with her afterwards, I apologized for my lack of proper discipline. I knew that that instead of giving swift punishment when she didn’t obey, I was helping to breed laziness within her by allowing the behavior to continue.
During our conversation I lectured, “Doing something more than two hours after I ask you to do it isn’t obedience – that’s disobedience and completely unacceptable.”
Then I stopped. It was one of those aha moments where I recognized doing this in my own life.
I reflected on my own Christianity. When I know that God wants me to do something, I normally consider obeying “only” two hours later an excellent time frame!
But, how many times have I known I needed to take some sort of action and put it off, not just for a few hours, but for months or even years? Even though I do my best to stay away from the “bad” things mentioned in Revelation 21:8, I also know that…
Christianity isn’t just about a checklist of things we don’t do. Christianity is also about what we do. It’s about following Jesus fully and completely, without delay.
For example, we’re told that Peter and Andrew were out fishing when Jesus called for them and, “They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Likewise, when Jesus called James and John, “Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.”
As I truly considered the passage in Matthew 4, I realized those men had incredible faith – the apostles didn’t dwell on the opportunity for several months, or even several hours, beforehand. They didn’t even go home to pack a bag! They knew where Jesus wanted them so they lived out their faith and they went.
Would you have done it?
Would I have?
I’d like to think so, but I know myself. I know that I would have probably wanted time to think about it. I would have doubted. I would have wondered, “What if this doesn’t work out? Maybe I should deliver these fish first. What if I want to come back to this occupation later but my customers have found someone else?”
When I’m truly honest with myself, I know that I probably wouldn’t have simply cast my net, my livelihood, aside and followed unless I was absolutely certain of the outcome.
But then, if we’re following Jesus completely, aren’t we already certain of the outcome?
“Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 (NKJV)
Yes, sometimes we need to consider options and make sure we’re doing the right thing.
But when we already know what the right thing is?
We need to stop putting it off! We need to open our eyes, refuse to let fear stop us, cast our nets aside, and obey by following Jesus.