Excuses. We all make them. We use them to justify things like why we can't lose weight, can't get out of debt, can't get that job we've always wanted and more. Robin Sharma said "excuses are just the lies your fears have sold you." Have you ever stopped to consider the reasons behind your excuses and what your life would look like if you stopped making them?
I want to share a parable with you that I hope will challenge the way you think about excuses.
I hope the last line of that parable shakes you up a little bit like it does me: "None of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet" Like the man who prepared the banquet, God has made incredible plans for each of us, but just like the banquet guests we tend to make excuse after excuse in our spiritual lives. We make excuses out of fear, laziness, lack of time, lack of resources, lack of confidence. The list goes on. But as we continue to make excuses, we continue to miss out on what God has for us.
For a long time I felt God calling me to be on my church's prayer team. I longed to stand at the altar and lift up people who were hurting and rejoice with those who were rejoicing, but I had more than a handful of excuses why I couldn't. Most of my excuses came from a place of fear. I argued that I wasn't qualified, I wouldn't know what to say, I was too young, no one would want to pray with me anyway. I justified my disobedience by believing that "someday" I would be spiritually mature enough.
Despite my resistance, God continued to nudge me, despite his nudging I continued to make excuses, for over a year. Eventually I decided I would no longer ignore God's voice and I finally joined the prayer team. Throughout the first service my heart pounded, I couldn't relax, couldn't focus on the sermon. Even my sister who was sitting next to me commented on my nervousness. When it came time for the invitation, I stepped out of my seat and hesitantly headed to the altar and took my place next to people I considered much more qualified than myself. Immediately my fear was gone and I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.
That's the thing about saying "yes" to God's plans for our lives, when we do, all of our excuses are made void. If it's time you don't think you have, He'll make it. If it's confidence you're lacking, He'll provide it. When you believe you're unqualified, He qualifies you. What I've found is that the things I excuse myself from are typically the things that God wants to use to stretch me, to develop me into the person He created me to be.
My questions for you today is what has God prepared for you that your excuses are getting in the way of?