Topic: Faith Lives in the Present
As believers in Jesus Christ, we learn that we receive everything we need from God through faith. Faith is now! It is trusting now that God will take care of yesterday and tomorrow.
We are justified and made right with God through faith alone, yet the apostle James tells us that faith without works is dead.
So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).
There are probably thousands upon thousands of people who consider themselves to be great people of faith, and yet they procrastinate all the time. Procrastination is not faith, because true faith demands action. It is true that faith sometimes waits for God to work, but most of the time it must take action to be obedient when God speaks.
We need not wait for some special word from God telling us what to do. In the Bible, God has already given us most of the direction we will need in our lives. When I noticed my unmade bed, I did not need a special word from God to know that the best thing to do would be to make it up. The only thing left to do was obey.
I realize that some of you may have serious bad habits, and you may be thinking that my example of an unmade bed is rather unimportant. However, I am of the opinion that if we are willing to obey and take action in the smallest detail, we will have fewer problems with the bigger projects in life.
Let me offer some help by using examples from my life where procrastinating caused huge problems. For example, I had back pain for many years, but it was not so serious that I couldn’t work through it each day. Friends and family told me often that I needed to see a doctor or a chiropractor, but I procrastinated year after year. Finally one morning I was unable to walk when I got out of bed and had no choice but to make an emergency appointment with a chiropractor. My back was inflamed, and I had some disk degeneration. Pain is a signal that something is wrong and needs attention, and when we ignore it, we only complicate the problem. If I had taken care of my back and gotten some professional advice when the pain first surfaced, I could possibly have saved myself a great deal of pain and hundreds of hours of time spent on doctor visits over the years. Remember, procrastination is fun until reality sets in.
I remember a dentist telling me once, “We need you to start coming in for your regular cleaning and checkups so you can stop needing emergency appointments because you have a tooth ache.” He reminded me that the only time he saw me was when I had had an emergency, which wasn’t fair to him because my emergency put pressure on his already full schedule. Not only that, but my procrastinating exacted a high price from me. After all, it’s less painful—and less expensive to have a cavity filled than to have oralsurgery.
My excuse for procrastinating was that I was busy. Does that sound familiar? When we refuse to use our time to do the things we need to do, we always end up losing time taking care of the emergencies and messes we created through procrastinating.
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I hope you have chosen one good habit that you want to make and one bad habit that you want to break. NOW is the time to get started! While I am writing this book we are in the Christmas and New Year season, and I have heard several people declare what they are going to do as soon as the holidays are over. They are going to lose weight, begin an exercise program, organize their lives, and other similar things.
A few of them may follow through, but honestly I already know that most of them won’t. They are procrastinators, and people who procrastinate today will find a reason to do so tomorrow also.
I started my current workout regimen on December 23, 2006, and God has given me the grace to continue doing it. My trainer said I had to begin the program with twenty-one days of no sugar, and he gave me a specific diet I was to follow that was designed to shock my body and reset my metabolism.
I recall people asking me why in the world I started such a program the day before Christmas Eve. I did it because I thought if I could do it during the most luscious eating times of the year, then surely I could do it the rest of the time. It is not wise to wait until a time that you feel will be convenient to begin any task.
Great character is not developed through ease and convenience but through doing NOW what needs to be done no matter how difficult it is.