Following Through: More Excuses

By on November 11, 2011
What's Your Excuse

By Karen Jordan –

Excuses, excuses, you’ll hear them every day.
And the Devil he’ll supply them, if the church you stay away.
When people come to know the Lord, the Devil always loses
So to keep them folks away from church, he offers them excuses.
(Kingsmen, “Excuses”)

I can always come up with an excuse, when I don’t want to do something, especially when I’m afraid.

fall scents for your home

Excuse 3. “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” (Exodus 4:1-2 NIV)

Can you identify with Moses here? I can. How many times have I sensed God leading me to do something that I knew would be questioned by others who didn’t understand?

When I spoke to a close friend about sensing God’s direction to pursue writing for publication, he responded, “What do YOU have to say?”

I don’t believe my friend meant to discourage me with his heart-rending question. But his question just echoed the doubt that I had already heard in my heart. What do I have to say? No one will believe me or listen to me!

My friend’s question served as the motivation that I needed to seek God, especially for His guidance as I sought specific direction for training and research. I asked myself questions like, “What DO I have to say? What gifts and talents DO I have? What skills do I need to develop? What resources are available to me?”

Promise. Moses feared how others might perceive him. So God gave him two miraculous signs to prove His supernatural power. First, God called attention to the tool in Moses’ hand (Exodus 4:2). Then, the Lord miraculously touched Moses’ hand. Afterward, the Lord offered this encouragement to Moses, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground” (4:8-9)

God knew the people would question Moses. So, He promised to give Moses whatever supernatural help he needed to lead His people to their promised land. And in the process, God transformed the everyday tool in Moses’ hand with His miraculous power.

Reflection. This question echoes in my heart, “What is that in your hand?” (4:2)

I’m asking myself, “Could God transform the tool in my hand—like the technology available on the Internet—to help others discover their promised land of rest?”

Excuse 4. “Moses raised another objection to God: ‘Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer’“ (Exodus 4:10 MSG).

“I’m not a writer!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that excuse, especially when I taught freshman composition.

When I heard my students voice that excuse as a writing instructor, that’s when I went into my well-rehearsed speech, “No matter what career path you choose—whether you’re a professional writer, stay-at-home mom, or an automobile mechanic—you need to know how to communicate with your written words. And that’s the purpose of this class!”

I don’t have what it takes! I have to confess, that excuse has crossed my mind many times as I consider writing for publication, teaching writing, and (now) speaking to Christian women?

But I think I’m in good company, right? Even Moses tried to use that excuse as he wrestled with God’s call on his life. “I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words … I stutter and stammer” (Exodus 4:10).

Promise. As I consider my own rhetorical limitations once again, I’m reminded of all the excuses Moses voiced to God. But when Moses tried to tell God about his limitations, God responded, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (11-12).

God also promises to help us communicate whatever He’s called us to do. Jesus instructed HIs disciples: “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life … instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20 MSG).

Reflection. Do you have what it takes to do what God has called you to do? We can be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in (us) will carry it on to completion …” (Philippians 1:6).

 

Karen Jordan is best known for telling the stories that matter most. Karen’s writing workshops have been popular in multiple venues, and she has written for several publications and book compilations. As a CLASSeminars certified speaker, Karen is available to address topics about faith, family, and writing. Website: http://www.karenjordan.net/

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Following Through: More Excuses