Excuses, Excuses, Excuses.....How many of us use these? My hand is raised high in the air. I may even need to raise both hands. Excuses are reasons that we provide for why we do not get something done, why we do not get somewhere, why we do not meet deadlines, or simply why we feel that the skills we possess are inadequate for the task before us. Most often, we are unable to recognize when we use an excuse because we have been conditioned to justify them.
Have you ever heard someone say, "Well, the Lord knows my heart!"? I think I have heard so many people say this famous phrase so much so that I began to say it at some point in my growth, and it just stuck. So, the result is that now when I am late somewhere, or I refuse to participate in something, my justification is, "Well, the Lord knows my heart."
The statement is not the issue, but it is the context in which I use it that is the problem. I use this statement many times to justify my excuse for not doing what I don't want to do. I use this statement to make me feel better about blowing off responsibilities that I don't want to have, or chose not to have. Excuses are nothing new. Moses gave God excuses because he felt ill-equipped to speak to God's people. (Exodus 3:11, 4:10)
In Luke chapter 9, two men approached Jesus and said they wanted to follow Him where ever He went. When Jesus instructed them to come right then, they had excuses, which proved to Jesus that the men were not serious about following Him after all. They wanted to follow Jesus on their terms. They wanted to follow Him when they wanted and how they wanted. But, the thing is, our lives are not our own. Each life, whether saved or not, belongs to the Heavenly Father. How is it that He allows us to deny Him what to do with His life that He gave us? Our God is awesome. He does not want to force Himself upon us, and He will not force Himself upon us. He wants us to do for Him simply because we love Him! And, not to mention all of the things that He has done for us!
I thought about it this way; what if it was time for me to wake up one morning, and God didn't wake me up. And, what if I asked God, "Lord, why didn't you wake me up today?" And, His reply was, "Oh...I forgot about you...I got so caught up on doing something else. Sorry. I guess I'll remember to wake you up tomorrow." However, that would be too late. I know it seems farfetched to think of God this way, but when I turn around some of the things that I do and think about what if God did the very same things; it allows me to see how serious my wrongs are. It also keeps in my mind that I can't do anything without my fully functioning, no-excuse God. God never gives me an excuse, but sadly, I find that I give Him more than a plenty!
I know that my commitment to Christ must be a total commitment. Christ does not desire any partial believers for followers. When one is totally committed, there is no room for excuses. No excuses mean that we will sacrifice at times. One day, we want to be rewarded with our crown, but that will not come without our own individual crosses. Talk about a sacrifice!
So, "does the Lord know my heart" all the while? Yes, He knows when I am making excuses and when I am being obedient to His word and direction. He knows when I was really held back or distracted and when I needed to be. He knows how to keep me in His will. And, He will never justify any excuse that I have. If it was in His will that I was not at a certain place at a certain time, or I was not prepared for something, or I didn't get something done by a deadline date, then it simply was not supposed to be. Then it is not an excuse, but God's plan.
God bless you tonight, as we travel on this journey to becoming all that God has for us to be!