2012-01-25 / Religion

‘Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow’


(Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God)

I had a great time during the holiday season, and I got a real reminder last week of just how much fun I had. In unfortunate timing, a medication that I take ran out of refills in December, and after putting it off as long as I could I made an appointment to see the doctor. When it was my turn to see him, the nurse called me back, and as is the usual routine, she kindly escorted me to the scales and gave me that dreadful command: “Step on the scales, please.” Before I complied, I tried to justify what I knew the results would be by reminding her that we just came through a lot of holiday activities and that I am a preacher who would not want to disappoint anyone by refusing to eat what was set before me. Then I went on to express my plan to take care of the weight problem. I was even detailed enough to advise her when I planned to start cutting back on my food intake—tomorrow! I made it through the rest of the visit without my doctor working me over about how much I have eaten in recent weeks. He even agreed that all that waist stretching bunch of food tastes really good, although I do not think he ever intended for me to understand that as permission to place no restraints on my appetite, but at least he identifies with my struggle. I know from years of experience that it is a lot more fun putting on weight than taking it off, and it is a lot easier to plan to deal with it tomorrow instead of today. But I also realize that refusing to deal with any problem—physical, spiritual, behavioral, or whatever the case--in a timely fashion does not make it go away or become benign. Only facing reality and promptly taking the appropriate actions bring about a positive solution. Dealing with what needs to be corrected in our lives often involves steps that cut against what is comfortable and desirable, and this is especially true as it pertains to our spiritual health. An example is found in 2 Chronicles 7. Recorded centuries ago during King Solomon’s reign is God’s warning to the Jewish people concerning the consequences that ongoing wrongdoing would produce, while at the same time He informed them of the steps they had to take to make things right with Him, and then He promised them the result that they would experience by doing what He commanded. Verses 13- 14 state that “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (New International Version).

Even though those words were given long ago in another part of the world, they still apply to us today. Such a command must not be ignored, taken lightly nor put off until a later time. Now rather than later is the time that we should allow God to do what needs to be done in our hearts.

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