Do Not Delay
Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada with a good word from Mark, Chapter 1.
That’s the scene where Jesus is walking along the shore and he calls to Simon and Andrew “Come, follow me,” and they obey, leaving their nets at once to follow Jesus without delay. Don’t you love that? They dropped everything and obeyed at once without dragging their heels or second-guessing his call. How compelling must’ve been that call of Jesus! Not only did those men leave their nets behind, but I tell you what, they left their identity. They left their livelihood. They left everything, by which they had been known. They were no longer fishermen; they became fishers of men.
To me, that’s inspiring, because that’s the way I want to live. When I hear God’s word, I don’t want to second-guess it, I don’t want to drag my heels, I want to be a doer of it. If I hear a truth from the Bible, I want to act on it. I don’t want to believe Satan’s lies. But so many times I end up believing lies without even thinking about it, I listen to lies like: “I’m powerless; there’s nothing I can do to make this bad situation any better!” Or I’ll listen to a lie like: “I can’t tell my friend how I really feel; it’ll ruin our relationship.” Or I cave in, telling myself, “Sure, I believe in spiritual warfare, but I’d really rather watch “American Pickers” right now and not do any battles; not fight them.” I hate thinking like that. It’s kick-it-into-neutral thinking, cowardly thinking. It’s do-nothing thinking. Because the truth is, I do have power—I have God’s power—to make a bad situation better. And telling the truth is the best path for any friendship. And every spiritual battle is worth fighting, no matter what your emotions insist.
When the Holy Spirit whispers to me, or calls me forth into battle, or tells me to rise to some new, yet harder obedience, I need to not only listen, but act on it; actually wrap my hands around the challenge, and put some weight behind it, give it effort; give it honest, spiritual muscle and fight back against laziness or lies. In other words, I have to leave my nets and follow Jesus at once without delay.
Spurgeon once wrote: “When God calls you to do something, hasten right then to fulfill it before the holy glow departs from your soul. Leave your nets at once and do not give place to the devil by delaying.” Love that! Perhaps Jesus is telling you to talk about Him to your coworkers; you know, share your testimony and talk up Jesus. It sounds great at first, doesn’t it? You feel courageous as you picture how you’re going to approach that group of coworkers in the lunch area; you see yourself saying this and that, and your heart swells with anticipation. But if you delay in doing it, over time you are going to lose the glow; you start second-guessing what the Lord wants you to do, putting up resistance and saying, “you know, God, I’m not sure I heard you quite right. I really don’t think my coworkers are ready right now to hear my story”. We check and double check what we think we heard God say, until we have convinced ourselves it wasn’t Him who spoke anyway, in the first place. Like Spurgeon says: “When God calls you to do something, hasten right then to fulfill it before the holy glow departs from your soul. In other words friend, leave your nets at once and do not give place to the devil by delaying.” Don’t second-guess God and rationalize away His calling in your life. Listen to His call and join me in being not just a hearer, but a doer of His word. When you have a chance today, drop by joniandfriends.org.
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