All Christian belief must culminate in service or else the belief itself will wither away. Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). It is when we let our light shine before men that our service, which is itself a form of worship, will be obvious to people and God will be glorified. Have you however noticed that when it comes to serving God, we always manage to come up will all kinds of excuses? It did not just start; this has been human nature for a long time. The interesting thing is that, call to service for us is not just a simple request. When God gives a task, it comes in the form of a call, not a request. When we begin to give excuses, we tend to forget that the God who made the call knows our abilities and our short comings before He called us. Sometimes you ask folks to pray, and they tell you they do not know how to pray. Turn around and see the same person at the scene of a fruitless argument and you wonder what the excuse was all about.
In Exodus 3, when the Lord first called Moses for the task of delivering the Israelites from Egypt, his immediate thought was that God was asking Him to be the deliverer. His response was “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” What he thought of was all the excuses why he will not be the right fit to do the job. Many times, we get ourselves in this kind of situation. We forget that whatever the Lord calls us to do, He is only asking us to be instruments in His hands. What power do we have of our own? What knowledge do we have of our own? We belong to God and every knowledge, wisdom, and power that we may think we have come from the Lord. So, when we give excuses, we do so because of our own sense of inadequacy or insufficiency. The Word of God in 2 Corinthians 9:8 however says, “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” God promised Moses He will accompany him on the task. It still was not good enough for Moses because when God told him what he should say to the Hebrews, he still argued about not being eloquent and being slow in speech (Exodus 4:10). God however answered him and said, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? “Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Exodus 4:11-12). We, too, might doubt God’s abilities, but by His Spirit, we will be given exactly what we need at the exact time we need it. He never sends us on a task to abandon us.
The call to serve that is placed on all of us is a divine call. Sometimes we may feel like we have insufficient skills for the task at hand. We must remember that the Lord who called will not abandon us, rather He will equip us for the task at hand. We must not be the people whose response to every call from God is excuses upon excuses. We have heard it said many times that following Christ comes at a price, but we have already committed to this path, so we should have no excuse for excuses. The call to service for Christians means that we must come wholeheartedly and be ready to give all of ourselves to God’s service. It may be natural for us to sometimes feel very inadequate for the job that God calls us to do; we must however remember that “the just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). The excuses we give sometimes speak to our lack of faith or low view of God.
The most untenable reason we give excuses when called to do God’s work is because we are simply unwilling. We are caught up with a load of care and in the web of nothingness that we become unwilling to do God’s work. When our heart is not there, then the burden to serve God is not there. Too many of us are too comfortable in our own lifestyles that we are unwilling to give up the ease, conveniences, and predictability of our schedules to relinquish control to the Lord. We prefer our past-times to serving God. There is nothing wrong with having past-times or relaxation times, but if we are committed enough, we can plan our time to give us time to serve the Lord. Remember the Word of God, “If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23). “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:33).
January 9, 2022 – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya