One More Night With The Frogs
And Moses said to Pharaoh, “I am entirely at your service: when shall I plead [with the Lord] for you and your servants and your people, so that the frogs may leave you and your houses and remain only in the Nile?” Then Pharaoh said, “ Tomorrow.” Moses replied, “ May it be as you say, so that you may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that there is no one like the Lord our God.
If we want to delay making a decision, we can always find an excuse. And some of us are board-certified experts! After all, we don’t want to decide now because
*the situation might change,
*the problem might completely go away,
*somebody may come up with a better solution, or
*we might win the lottery or a tornado might blow us away—either way we won’t have to make that decision!
Sometimes we put up with an incredible mess because we’re afraid of making a mistake. During the plagues, God sent frogs to torment Pharaoh so that he would set God’s people free. Now one or two frogs aren’t a problem, but millions of them- in your shirt and squished under your feet- are big trouble! Moses offered to stop the plague, but Pharaoh said, “Well, let’s wait until tomorrow.” (I’m sure his wife pitched a fit!)
Certainly, we need to think through decisions so we choose the best option, but sooner or later, it’s time to act. Procrastination is paralysis by fear, not astute planning. If you regularly have difficulty making decisions, look below the surface to identify your fears, and address them. Until you do, you’ll be spending a lot of nights with the frogs.
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
It’s easy to procrastinate, especially if it concerns things we really don’t want to do. We can find a thousand and one reasons why we shouldn’t make a decision or take a step right now. Sometimes it can be because we’re afraid to move on even though things have changed. In the case of grief, for example, there are those who attempt to keep everything exactly the same, hoping somehow to not have to let go and accept the reality that our loved one is gone and our lives are permanently changed. To be sure, we ought not make rash, emotional-driven decisions. Any major decisions should be first of all prayed over. We can find no better source of wisdom and direction than bringing every matter before God in prayer. But once God has given us direction and wisdom, we must then act on it without hesitation. One of the tools the devil uses against us is procrastination. If he can get us to put off or postpone taking action on something God has directed us to do, in essence he wins for if we keep postponing taking action then at the end of the day we are in exactly the same place we have always been.
When God visited the plagues on Egypt, Pharaoh kept delaying making the decision to let the Israelites go free. Because of his unwillingness to make the decision, the plagues kept coming. In fact, there were ten plagues in all that Egypt suffered because Pharaoh wouldn’t would decide. Each plague kept getting worse. The final plague caused the death of every Egyptian first born son. The lesson we should learn is this: while we don’t make spur of the moment, rash decisions, we must at some point take action. Life cannot be lived without decision making and action taking. If we choose to not take any action, very often decisions are made for us by default. Let me give an example. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins and we choose not to make the decision to give ourselves to Christ and receive salvation, that procrastination makes our default decision to remain in our sins. What Pharaoh didn’t get and what many people miss is that the purposes of God will always be accomplished. In Pharaoh’s case, God had determined to set the Israelites free and though he could delay, he could not prevent it from happening.
This principle is true in our lives, especially if we are Christians. Procrastination far too often causes us to miss out on what God has for us. In a larger sense the plans of God miss being carried out because we procrastinate and while we do, the work of God is minimized or left undone. It’s not as though God hasn’t defined the mission or given us specific directions. Yet we procrastinate. Why? Perhaps because of fear, fear of failure or rejection, fear that we aren’t capable or qualified, and fear of what others may think. And all the while those who need us to share the gospel die in their sins. I’m sure we wouldn’t consciously want that to be the case, but our unwillingness to act leaves them no choice.
Maybe you’ve thought about making a change, giving more of yourself to God and the work of God, but you’re waiting for the right moment.
Matthew West does a song that asks two questions:
“If not now, then when.”
If not us, then who?”
“Right now, it’s time to do something!”
It’s easy to find on the internet. Take a minute and listen to it and then ask God to forgive you for procrastination and ask the Holy Spirit to deal with your fear and give you boldness. Make the decision, make the change. Don’t wait another minute. You’ve waited long enough. Act now, act today. Don’t spend another night with the frogs!
Dr. John Thompson