I submit to you that our EXCUSES are keeping us from (are delaying us in) making our dreams reality.
We are all created by God ON purpose FOR a purpose; we all have specific assignments in the earth. And each of us has a particular set of skills and different gifts to fulfill our purposeful assignments. For example, I've been gifted with the ability to speak (publicly), teach and write. There was no question, even in childhood, that I would be an educator of some sort, and eventually, an author. God placed my specific gifts inside of me when He created me in my mother's womb, and throughout my life, my gifts were sharpened so they could one day be used at maximum potential in the assignments that He would eventually call me to.
And the same is true for you. God placed some specific gifs inside of you when He knit you together in your mother's womb. There are some things that flow naturally from you that don't take any real effort for you to do well. No one had to teach you how to sing. You just opened your mouth and the ability was there. Sure, over time, you've grown in that gift, and you've sharpened your singing skills, but the ability was there all the time, ready to be used. Your gift of singing was given to you to be used in the assignment(s) that He calls you to.
No one taught you how to create and design. You've always been good with your hands. You've always been able to take random objects and make art. You've always been able to envision a picture in your mind and bring it to life. And sure, over time, that skill has been sharpened with schooling and practice, and you've grown in your ability to make masterpieces with your hands, but even without the sharpening, you were already masterful. It was always in you, and those gifts were given to you to be used in the assignment(s) that He calls you to.
Whatever our individual giftings, they're all designed to be used to help others in some way. And because God created us with these gifts with the intention of using them to help others, He sometimes gives us DIRECT ORDERS to do so.
That dream you have to start a shelter for battered women and children... Yeah...that's God telling you to get to work because there are people who need what you have to offer. There are women and children who need you to put your gifts of compassion, nursing, and administrative expertise to work so they can be taken care of. They're crying out to God for a place to go. They're praying and pleading with the Lord for someone to care enough about what they're going through to provide them some relief.
And He hears them.
So He tells you what He wants you to do to help them.
You give Him excuses.
And that book that you keep waking up in the middle of the night outlining with details on all you've learned from being a teenage mother: finances, self-respect, honoring one's body, following God's plan vs. your own, forgiveness... Yeah...that's God telling you that someone needs to hear your story. He wants you to use your gift of writing and use your newfound gift of financial planning to help others who are walking the same path you once walked. He wants you to share your experiences to save all the young women who are about to do the SAME THINGS you did. He sees them. He wants to save them because He hears their prayers. They're asking Him how to get out of the relationships they're in. They want to get out, and they know they should, but they just don't know how. And He can help them, but He knows what He put inside of YOU to help them, so when He hears their prayers...
He tells you EXACTLY what to do to help them.
He gives you specific instructions on how to get it done.
You give Him excuses.
God Got Angry at One Man's Excuses
That's how long the Israelites were enslaved under Egyptian rule, and Pharaoh (the Egyptian king) made sure their labor was tough. Generation after generation of Israelites cried out to the Lord, asking Him to free them of their slave labor. They prayed and prayed, and the Bible speaks of many times that the Lord heard their prayers and He, himself, provided for them so they could have some relief in their captivity. BUT...in that 430th year, when the Lord decided that it was time for the Egyptian rule over the Israelites to end, He didn't work alone in getting it done. God gave a very specific ASSIGNMENT to Moses to do the work of having the Israelites freed from Egyptian rule.
The Lord said, "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians..." (Exodus 3:7-8)
Then He said, "Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt." (Exodus 3:11)
As soon as God said He was sending Moses to Pharaoh, Moses was like, "What?!? ME?!?! Who am I that you would send me?" And then came THE BARRAGE OF EXCUSES.
Moses went back and forth with God, pointing out reason after reason why He shouldn't be the one sent to Pharaoh. Moses' first question was (1) Lord, why me? The Lord told him not to worry because He would be with him when he went to Pharaoh. Then, because he still felt so unqualified to be called to such a great ASSIGNMENT, Moses said, (2) When they ask who sent me, who should I tell them? The Lord told him, "I AM WHO I AM, so tell them that I AM sent you."
Poor Moses was still terrified at the magnitude of the assignment so he kept on with his questions. He said, (3) Okay, Lord, what if they don't believe that you sent me? What if they don't listen to me? The Lord answered Moses by giving Him the power to perform 3 miracles before the people if they didn't believe him. The Lord knew that seeing those miracles would cause the people to believe that he was sent by God. And THAT, you'd think, would have been enough for him to believe God and trust that He would have him covered. But nooooo...Moses had yet ANOTHER concern. He was done getting answers to his questions from the Lord, so he began with his excuses.
He said (4) But Lord, you know I don't speak well. You know I'm not eloquent. The Lord then answered with a question. He said, Who has made man's mouth? Have not I, the Lord? God let him know that He could cause him to speak perfectly if He wanted to, whenever He wanted to.
Moses opened his mouth one more time, but God had had it with his questions and his excuses. Moses said (5) Lord, please send somebody else. The Bible says...and I quote..."So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses..."
And wouldn't your anger be kindled too if you told your child to do something that you KNOW s/he's capable of doing and s/he came back to you FIVE TIMES telling you why s/he couldn't do what you already knew could be done the moment you said do it?
Wouldn't your anger be kindled if your gifted child, who's full of wonder and greatness, found every way out of doing the very thing that you know will bring him/her the joy and the fulfillment that s/he seeks?
That's how God feels with our excuses. He feels like that parent. God knows what He's placed on the inside of us. He knows what He created us to do. The assignments He gives us line up with who we are and with what He's created us to do. He wouldn't give us the assignments if He didn't KNOW we could get them done. And when He calls us and gives us the assignments, HE WANTS THEM DONE!
What Are Your Excuses?
Lord, you have me outlining this book, but you know I don't write well. You know there are people our there writing books who write waaaaay better than me. Nobody will even read what I write.
Lord, where will I even get the money to create this thing I keep seeing in my head? I have all these student loans and I have a 6-year plan to pay them off. I won't be able to do anything until then.
- Lord, what if I can't get this grant?
- What if I can't get that approval that I need?
- What if they say something about me being fired from my previous job?
- What if they tell me my GPA isn't high enough?
- Can't you find someone who knows more about this to do it instead?
- But I really don't have time when I get home from work. I'm tired when I get home.
- These kids...
- My husband...
- My wife...
- My health...
- I need to do this around the house...
- I have this deadline at work...
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!
When Moses finally laid down the excuses and trusted that God would be with him to give him what he needed every step of the way... When he finally did what God told him to do, He helped free a nation! God wanted to show Moses His power, and He wanted the Egyptians to know His power and know that He is God. Don't miss your opportunity to show forth God's greatness in what He does through you. At the end of the day, that's really all it's about--God being great in you and showing forth His glory through you. Complete the assignments that He's given you. He already knows you can. Don't incite His anger with your excuses.