When God created Adam and Eve, the first thing He told them was, “Be fruitful, and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28 NKJV). Jewish rabbis consider this verse to be God’s first commandment. It isn’t negative. God didn’t tell Eve not to wear too much makeup. He said, “Be fruitful.”
Fruit is the result of our labor, and God expects us to produce results wherever we are. But we humans tend to make lists of excuses for why we can’t do something.
Short on Time?
In Luke 14:15–24, Jesus told the parable of a man who prepared a big feast and invited many people. But the invited guests had excuses for why they couldn’t come. “I just got married.” “I started a new business.” “I have some new cows.”
People often say, “I don’t have enough time.” But we each get 24 hours a day. The question is, what are we doing with the time we have? People say they don’t come to prayer because they don’t have time or they’re tired. No. They choose to stay home and watch the ball game.
God never promised we would have no challenges. But He did promise peace and joy in the storm and victory every time.
The Answer to Excuses
The Apostle Paul had an answer for our excuses. He prayed that we would be “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy” (Col. 1:11 NKJV). In Greek, the word strengthened is dunamoō and the word might is dunamis. That’s like having two sticks of dynamite in us. Don’t say, “I can’t do that” or “I feel tired.” Say, “Thank You, Lord, for strengthening me with Your might!”
We’ve All Got Problems
Another excuse I hear for not doing God’s will is, “I have problems.” If that excuse were valid, none of us would do God’s will, because we all have issues. Paul showed us how to deal with them. He prayed that God would strengthen us “for all patience and longsuffering with joy” (Col. 1:11 NKJV). Patience, longsuffering, and joy help us with the issues of life. James told us to count it all joy when we go through various trials, problems, and difficulties (James 1:2–3).
Patience and longsuffering are words that deal with the outward and the inward. I have a wife and three beautiful daughters. That’s four females in my house. You can imagine how restricted my bathroom time has been!
When we’re getting ready to go somewhere, I knock on the bathroom door and ask, “Are you ready yet?” But if my teeth are clenched and I’m pounding on the door, I’m not being patient.
Impatience only gives us a knot in our stomachs. And that’s why we need longsuffering.
Longsuffering gets rid of the knot. It’s on the inside and literally means breathing deeply. Paul said we can experience longsuffering with joy. And there’s no ambiguity about what joy is.
God Moves in Chaos
There will never be a time when we have no problems. We can’t wait to have all our ducks lined up before we obey God. Part of walking with Him is learning to walk by faith in the midst of the storm.
God never promised we would have no challenges. But He did promise peace and joy in the storm and victory every time. We need to learn how to walk by faith and trust Him when things are not going the way we think they should.
When the children of Israel were fleeing Egypt, they came to the Red Sea. As the Egyptian army closed in on them, God told Moses to lift up his rod and divide the sea. But God actually divided it by sending a wind. (See Exod. 14:15–21.)
Here’s the point. In the beginning, God told Adam to rule the earth and have dominion. He intended there to be a partnership between mankind and Himself. It was the same with Moses, and it’s the same with us. We can’t do anything without God’s power. But God needs our cooperation to accomplish His will.
Use What You Have
What gifts has God given you? How are you unique? You don’t have a rod like Moses. But what do you have in your hand that God can use? Five loaves of bread? Two fish? A boat? God will use whatever you have. He expects us to use our authority and work with Him to solve every problem.
No more excuses. We have everything we need to overcome in life. We can do anything through Christ Who empowers us.
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