If Not Now, When?

Every week, visiting my nutritionist, I see this rock. It's a constant reminder not to put off what I know the Lord is asking me to do today. 

It's a perspective Christians often set aside, thinking it is a little too "pushy." Maybe it requires too much effort. To some, it might even seem legalistic. Or maybe we're just lazy in regard to obedience and holiness.

As I leave the nutritionist and go home until the next appointment, I have a lot of choices to make regarding my health.

  • I can decide to make wiser choices about the kinds of food I eat, and how much.
  • I can choose to stock my cabinets and refrigerator with healthy foods... or not.
  • I can cite excuses for over-indulgence, or stick to the truth and steward my body.
  • I can choose to satisfy my cravings with healthy choices, or give in to the cravings of the flesh.
  • I can decide to be a good example of wisdom and self-control to my children and grandchildren.

One choice I do not have is to put off what the Lord is clearly speaking to me about in His Word and through prayerthat I must OBEY Him in regard to my health and my personal idol, gluttony.

The rock says, "If not now, when?" 

Or in the words of the writer of Proverbs:
"Don't put it off. Do it now. Don't rest until you do."

God wants me to be diligent and prudent, not asleep and lazy regarding His will.

Solomon expanded on this theme:

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest."

I need to wake up, be wise and get busyto make the kinds of choices that will please the Lord. I need to make the best use of my time in obeying the Lord. And I need to remember what I sow will reap a harvest for good or evil, health or dysfunction.

Christians tend to focus on the sins of commission, those things we do that are not right. Things that displease the Lord.

And certainly we need to check ourselves and allow God to examine our hearts so we can root out the habits, addictions and idolatries that hinder our walk with the Lord and our testimony and ministry for Him.

But the Word of God takes that one step further.

The New Testament writer James says,
"Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, 
for him it is sin." 

These are the sins of omission. Things that are right, good and holy that we fail to do, for one reason or another. And that also displeases the Lord.

The apostle Paul juxtaposes sins of commission and omission in Romans 7:14-20. He wrote that he does what he knows is wrong, and he fails to do what he knows he should do. And he is not alone in that assessment.

Both are an evidence of our conflict with the flesh as believers having a new nature in Christ. We are dead to sin and alive to God, but we still have choices to make. Will we "become obedient from the heart"? Will we "walk habitually in newness of life," abandoning our old ways? Will we live "as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness"?

This is the "If not now, when?" choice for me. Others might put off obeying the Lord in regard to their health. But that is not for me to judge. God is calling ME to be diligent, obedient, wise and holy in my choices.

It doesn't really matter if others do the same.

No matter whether the Lord is dealing with our health, our finances, our relationshipswhateverwe must be sure we are following and obeying Him. As the old hymn proclaims, "Though none go with me, still I will follow."

Years ago I read a little tract titled "Others Can, You Cannot" by G.D. Watson. It changed my life. An audio version of this tract is linked here, and I encourage you to listen.

My heart's desire is to follow hard after the Lord, and I can't be careless or lazy about that. God says, "Be holy, for I am holy." That doesn't just happen. It's all about resting in His good grace and making wise and godly choices that grow out of our gratefulness and desire to be His holy Bride. I want to hear the "Well done" from my Father God.

And the time is short. Whether Jesus returns soon or not is not the issue. Our lives are a short vapor, we're all terminal, and we will all appear before Himin Christ with our sins forgiven, but still receiving "what is due."

What's important now is, what will we do with our lives? 
What choices will we make that count for eternity? 
How will we steward our bodies, talents and gifts, resources, ministry and time? Only what is done for Christ in faith will last. 

What is the Lord clearly speaking to you about today? 
Why are you hesitating, holding back?

"If Not Now, When?"

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