Excuses, excuses. They sure sound good! How could I ever do that? I don’t have the training or money or experience. I’ve messed up too badly; I’m disqualified. I’m from the wrong family, or the wrong gender. My personality won’t let me. I’m too old. I’m too young. It’s too hard.
I will never forget when my oldest grandson was about three years old. His father was trying to teach him to be respectful even when he was unhappy with the circumstances. After a bit of sniveling this little voice said, “It’s so tough!”
Do you ever whine “It’s so tough!” when God says something to you?
Perhaps there’s something you know the Holy Spirit wants to deal with you about. There’s some old baggage you need to unpack, an old wound you need to get healed, an old weight of bitterness you need to let go of, a difficult conversation you need to have. But it’s too late. It’s too hard.
Perhaps you sense God’s invitation to something beyond anything you’ve done before, to try something new in your business, step into an untried area of ministry, or attempt to impact people in a way that seems impossible. But that will never work. It’s never been done like that. It’s too hard.
Many voices in contemporary culture encourage you to focus on a positive mindset, a can-do attitude. To the degree that idea makes “success” dependent on you it can be a distortion. But God’s been talking to human beings about their negative mindset ever since the world began.
Don’t give in to excuses! You’re not too young or too old. It’s not too hard.
Not Too Young
I’m too young. That excuse can have many variations; I don’t have enough experience, or money, or talent. I’m from the wrong background. I’m the wrong gender. They’re all variations of I don’t have what it takes.
But God doesn’t take into account how inadequate we think we are. And frankly, it’s not really about you anyway. When those He called complained that they were too young God corrected them:
Jeremiah was called as a very young man. “But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”” (Jeremiah 1:7-8)
Timothy thought he was too young. But Paul told him, “Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:11-12)
It’s never too early to follow where God is inviting you to go. Your freshness and energy might be exactly what God needs right now. You’re not too young – to experience God for yourself, to deal with the wounds you’ve already encountered, to become a useful part of God’s kingdom in ministering to others.
Not Too Old
I’m too old. And that might also sound like, I’ve got too much brokenness or baggage for God to use me. My days of possible fruitfulness are in the past. I’m too set in my ways to try something that different. I don’t have enough time left to do this. It’s too late.
But again, God doesn’t accept excuses. He takes what we think is beyond repair, beyond usefulness, and turns it into the indispensable tool for accomplishing His purposes.
Moses was eighty years old when God called him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. And on top of that, he couldn’t talk well. But importantly, all the things Moses had experienced and learned up to that point became priceless in fulfilling the mission; how to lead large numbers of people, how to live in the desert, as well as humility.
The promise to those who stay close to God is, “They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.” (Psalm 92:14)
It’s never too late. Your wisdom and experience become even more priceless in God’s hands. You’re not too old – to deal with old stuff, to learn new things, to pass on what you’ve experienced and learned, to make an amazing impact for God’s kingdom.
Not Too Hard
Oh, this is a good one. It’s too hard! There’s not enough resources. I don’t know how to do this. It will never work. The mission is impossible.
And God asks, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14)
If it were all about you, then it might be too hard. You’d best consider your resources, leverage them carefully, and attempt something you were pretty sure would work right away.
But not with God. When He asks something of you He makes Himself responsible for the outcome. And regardless of whether it turns out as you think it will or should, if you obey His direction you are a success.
Who could have imagined the walls of Jericho falling down? Or surviving a fiery furnace? Or giving birth long after menopause was over (Sarah, Elizabeth)? And what about giving birth “not knowing a man?” (Mary)
“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”” (Matthew 19:26)
That doesn’t mean you can run your own way and ask God to come in at the last minute and do something unusual to “save” you (although He can and sometimes does do exactly that). But it does mean that when He asks you to do something, just do it.
No more excuses. You’re not too young or too old. It’s not too hard.
Take time to truly hear His voice, to differentiate His voice from your own feelings. And then when God says it, just do it!
Your Turn: What excuses do you tend to use with God? What would it look like for you to “just do it?” Leave a comment below.
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- What kind of excuses do you make when God asks something of you? You’re not too young or too old. It’s not too hard. God’s not into excuses. When He says it, just do it! Tweet that
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