We all have them, don’t we? We all have excuses that have the potential to persuade us away from obedience. They sound all so right and legitimate yet in the end they are just excuses. I am NOT saying we all USE excuses, I’m just saying we all have access to them.
I think excuses are borne out of the eyes of our flesh, seeing life’s circumstances in the natural, solely on the horizontal plane.
If we use our excuses often enough and long enough they cease to even seem like excuses; they just seem to be valid, logical reasons. I wonder what it would take for us to see our excuses for what they are: unbelief.
When the 12 spies returned from scoping out the Promised Land, ten of them came with their excuses as to WHY Israel could not take possession of Canaan. Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.… “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:27-29; 31-33)
Plain and simple – these ten spies convinced Israel that they could not possess the land. The hurdles were insurmountable. The obstacles too great. All that may be true, humanly speaking, but they failed to recall one thing: The Lord has given Israel the land. And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel…” (Numbers 13:1-2). God’s promise was there but Israel failed to appropriate it. They failed to believe.
When we focus on all the reasons we CANNOT overcome temptation, we will NOT overcome temptation. When we focus on all the reasons we CANNOT obey, we will NOT obey.
What are your excuses for your unbelief? This may take some serious soul-searching because our flesh wants to protect itself. Our excuses will seem like valid, legitimate reasons rather than excuses. But let’s get real with ourselves. Whatever we call them, if they lead us to disobedience and sin – they have to go.
We, too, have promises that supersede the obstacles and hurdles we see in the natural.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13; For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4; I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Gal 2:20
I ask again. What are your excuses? In what areas are you prone to unbelief?
By faith we believe that God gives us everything we need to obey. He gives us a way out of temptation. He gives us faith to believe. His very own Son lives in us and lives His life through us.
…as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness… 2 Peter 1:3
He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Because of the Gospel, we have no excuse.
Diane Hunt – After serving 16 years full time on the staff of America’s Keswick, Diane and her husband moved to North Carolina where she continues to serve part time as a contributing writer and Partner Care Consultant. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.