Excuses are annoying. I had a football coach tell me his opinion on excuses in high school, but I don’t think this is the time or the place to discuss that philosophy. Nevertheless, most everyone hates excuses and the irony is that we all use them. However, I find it very humorous that most of the time our excuses don’t fool anyone, yet the one we give the most excuses to is the One who knows the motivations of our heart. What are some of the most famous excuses of all time? How about: but I’m too young, or …but I can’t, or …but I’m not good enough, or …but I’m afraid.
I’m sure you have studied many characters and narratives in the bible, but there is no other that best illustrates the no-excuse life than Numbers 13 and 14. God tells Moses to choose one leader from each tribe of Israel to explore the land of Canaan, the Promised Land. So Moses sends 12 men to explore the land and bring back a report to give to the entire Israelite community. The men leave on a forty day journey to scout the land of Canaan. After the forty days are over they come back to give their report and boy did they like the land they saw. It was a land that flows with milk and honey, which means that it was a land that could sustain their animals as well as cultivate a bountiful crop. They even brought back some fruit from the land for the people to taste and it was amazing. BUT! Numbers 13:28 says it all, “But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large.” Did you notice the first word of that verse? Then Caleb interrupted, “’We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’ But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.’ And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored” (Numbers 13:30b-32). After that the people started to say things like… “If we had only died in Egypt. We should choose a leader and go back.” This is the part where a fire burns within me as I read. I get so mad at the Israelites. They are clueless. They have just witnessed the plagues that God issued on Egypt, not to mention the parting of the Red Sea. God didn’t just deliver them from their enemy, He completely crushed their enemy. God singlehandedly defeated the armed forces of the most powerful nation in the world at that time and the Israelites didn’t have to lift a finger. But they don’t get it. Here they are faithless, spineless and whining all over again. I get so mad I want to scream.
Then I realize that I am the same way. I face an obstacle and I am spineless, faithless, and I whine to God. He wants me to do something and I make excuses as to why I shouldn’t or can’t. I can’t imagine how fed up He gets dealing with the same things over and over in my life. I am sure you can relate, and the thing that scares me is the “but” found in
Go back and look at Numbers 13:1-2 “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.’” That should have been enough for the Israelites. God said he was giving the land to them. If there is one thing you can take from this, here it is: When the LORD gives a promise, you can take it to the bank. Or that our prayer would be the same as Paul’s to the Ephesians, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen —Ephesians 3:20-21
I would like for you to join me in this endeavor to live a no-excuse life. We all need accountability. I would like to challenge you to keep your…but out of the way.
Blog posts from the Sterling staff, and maybe even the occasional guest blogger.