Let us begin this Bible study with a reading from John 5:5-9, “Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.” Sometimes we turn our excuses into reasons. Excuses are used because we don’t want to do something, just like this man who was sitting by the healing waters, who said to Jesus, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool.” All that this man was doing was giving Jesus excuses, because he didn’t want to try to do it himself. He had become discouraged because others were faster than him, which was just another excuse, but look what Jesus says to him, “Rise, take up your bed, and walk.”
There is one thing that we can do to help eliminate our procrastination, and that is take immediate action. Boom! Many of us wait, when we hear the Lord speak to us, we want to analyze our situation first, instead of following what God says for us to do. I believe that Jesus spoke directly to this man in this way to get him to take action now. The excuses were what was paralyzing this man in the first place, they were keeping him confined to his bed, and he needed to stop listening to his excuses and get up and walk. I believe that when we do some kind of action in the natural, God will supply the supernatural to it and we will be healed, delivered and prosper. The action in the natural brings about God’s supernatural power. I also believe that when God is calling to us to move and we become complacent, sitting for a long time we will lose what He has for us and it will slip away. If God has something for us to do, He will give us everything that we need to do it. He is saying to us to stop giving excuses why we can’t do something and get up and do it. Jesus was ready for this man to receive his healing, but the man was not ready to receive it. It is the same with many of us, Jesus has already provided everything that we need, but we aren’t ready to take hold of it. You see, faith takes action. Gd has shown us something very important, “When faith touches grace, God’s goodness is released.” What does this mean? When we use our faith and we touch grace (Jesus), then the Father releases His goodness upon us.
Why then do we procrastinate? What stops us from moving forward? Can we really change? Can we really do this? God Himself will lead us in what we are to do. I want you to take a good look at what Jesus said to this man who was sitting by the pool. He said, “Rise, take up your bed, and walk.” Jesus gave the man specific instructions. He told him to first rise (stand up on his feet), then He told him to pick-up his bed and finally he said to him, walk. He told him to walk away from this area. I personally believe that the Holy Spirit does this with us today, He tells us what to do by giving us specific instructions on how to do it. The way we break away from our excuses is to listen to the instructions that the Holy Spirit gives to us, follow them and take action. The more we do this, we will become tuned into His voice and be able to to do the things that God wants us to do and we will know when to move.
A sure way to fail, is called “Procrastination.” If we have made up our minds that we are not going to change, then procrastination will keep us in this state. Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. It is usually resulting from carelessness or even laziness. It is the thinking that we don’t have to do something today and we can put it off until another time. There are three reasons we procrastinate. The first is what is called “Indecisiveness.” This is when we have a hard time making up our minds on what we are to do. Indecision is something that we don’t want to carry. Our indecision can affect everything that we do. Our indecision can cause us to do nothing at all. This can affect our lives in such a big way, because it causes us not to choose things that we want in life. It affects our relationships with other people as well and it can affect our finances too. It even affects our relationship with God. The second reason we procrastinate is “Professionalism.” This is when we won’t do anything, unless, we can do everything perfectly. If we can’t do something professionally, then we don’t want to do it all. Turn to Ecclesiastes 11:4, and let’s read this from the Amplified Bible, “He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” Procrastination resulting from professionalism affects our harvest, why is this a problem? It is because we will not give until everything is favorable. When we wait for everything to be favorable and good we are operating in procrastination. The third and final reason is “laziness.” This is when we know that we must change our ways, but we just don’t want to do it. We have good intentions to change, but we keep putting it off, an example would be a person who is overweight, they know that they need to exercise to get back in shape, but they keep putting it off. We don’t like to call this laziness, but that is what it is. It all comes down to our wanting to do what needs to be done. We make excuses for not doing things, such as when our sugar is high. Our excuses keep us from doing the things that will make us better. We have a tendency to keep making excuses so that we will not do what we need to do. If we continue doing the same things, we will never see good results. Our good intentions don’t result in our working with the Holy Spirit. None of us are rewarded for our good intentions. Nothing will change for us until we want to change. There is no profit with just good intentions. Have you ever heard the saying, “Hell is paved with good intentions.” (John Ray) Our prisons are filled with people who have good intentions. We need to step away from our excuses and our procrastination, we need to start being decisive and stop trying to be perfect, we need to refuse to be lazy and we need to watch God as He takes us to new places in our lives. Everything falls into one simple action, if God sends the Holy Spirit to us, we need to follow Hs lead. Ask yourself this, If God calls me will I follow Him? Will I listen to what He is saying? Will I do the things He instructs me to do? When God says to move, will I move? Remember, that procrastination will cause us to fall into trouble, but obedience will keep us from trouble. Imagine what will happen if we would just listen to the Holy Spirit when He talks with us and then do what He says to do? I believe that the Holy Spirit was sent to us so that we can live a fruit filled life. He was sent to us when immediate action is required. When He speaks it should be priority, we mustn’t become complacent and put off what He says to another time, action needs to be taken right a way. What He says can keep us from harm, but immediate actions is required.
Turn in the Bible to James 4:13 in the New Living Translation, “Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” Who is receiving this message? He is talking to a person who puts things off until another day. He is saying, “Come now or go now (KJV and Amplified say it this way), don’t wait for tomorrow. Now look at verse fourteen, “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” We need to stop thinking we have tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come. Benjamin Franklin said this, “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.” Whatever we plan on doing for Christ, do it today. The word tomorrow is a dangerous, reckless, presumptuous word, and it is lazy. God doesn’t want to hear us say, “I will do it tomorrow,” He wants us to say we will do it today. Let me show you this, turn in your Bible to Hebrews 3:13, “but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” What is God wanting us to do? He wants us to take action today! He wants us to forgive someone today. He wants us to say a kind word to someone today. He wants us to share Him with someone today. He wants us to love someone today. God wants to hear our voices say, “Yes Lord, I will do this today.” Turn to Hebrews 4:7, “again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” God wants us to hear His voice today. Satan says to us, “Do it tomorrow, you have time.” So the devil says that we have time and we can delay things, but that isn’t what God says, turn to Psalms 119:60, “I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.” As long as we are not delaying thins, we will keep God’s Word. If we continue putting things off to another time, we will get even lazier and soon the Word will be taken from us. I find myself doing things like this as I am sure many of you do to. My fellowship with the Father suffers because of it. I used to keep saying Lord, I worked all day and I am tired, I will pray tomorrow. Bad word tomorrow is. I would find myself putting off reading the Bible, again I would say to myself, I will do it tomorrow. We should be excited to be able to go into the Lord’s presence. We should want to read and meditate on His Word. We should be hungry for more and more each day. Yes, tomorrow is an ugly word, because it brings us into laziness. We have to remain filled every day with the Holy Spirit, no more should we think about tomorrow. We need to beleve for today and we need to believe that Jesus has already done it today. We need to believe that we are healed today. We have believe that we are prosperous today. We need to speak to the mountain today!
The Bible takes a strong stand against procrastination. Look at this Scripture and I will close with this, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17). It is a sin to know what we ought to do and not do it. This is what we know is right in God’s eyes. Doesn’t this touch home with all of us. The Bible says it is a sin, we know to do good and we just don’t want to do it, this is procrastination. Today I challenge you do as the Holy Spirit leads you and – Bless Someone.