Do you have a friend that is so unhelpful and uncomplimentary that you often wonder why you are friends with that person, even if it’s just a Facebook friend? Many of us have another friend that fits the criteria. Procrastination. Our unhelpful friend tells us that the things which are vital aspects of us can wait until later. Procrastination taunts, that we are not adequate to accomplish all that befalls us, and we certainly do not have God’s approval to do great things evidenced by the difficulty we face. Who introduced me to this pseudo-friend? Doubt & Fear, are to blame, I am sure. Doubt which convinces me that things will not work in my favor and Fear reminding me of the misery that awaits me whether I go right or left. Unanswered, those thoughts multiply, similar to a virus on a susceptible host, rapidly, increasingly faster until all that remains are distorted perceptions of one’s capabilities rooted in Fear & Doubt which sent an invite to Procrastination. Now instead of aspiring for greatness, I can barely do my basics. The basics vary among us all but mostly entail: caring for self, family, working, academia, and perhaps an exercise regime. I’d like to think of the basics as the things that must get done so we can do what makes our hearts unwind, feeling completely fulfilled and free. But, wait, first, there are the basics. The enemy of our souls seeks to keep us so overwhelmed with “life” in general that we never reach the level of fulfillment that Jesus spoke of when He said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Strong’s renders “more abundantly”: we will exceed our expectations of what we thought our life was going to be once we yield it to Christ. The superfluous nature of words, “more abundantly” clarifies that Jesus only comes to add to us and Satan comes to take away. Even if we must lay down something that our flesh loves to do in the name of Jesus, we are still being added to whereas anything we do under Satan’s directives is always subtraction and division. The next time procrastination attempts to rule in my heart, I will ask myself if this behavior is adding to me or taking from me. Depending on the operation, addition & multiplication or subtraction & division, I will know what spirit is attempting to work in me. Please note that procrastination is a strategy used by the devil but it sometimes originates in us. Previously I noted that procrastination doesn’t simply suggest that we don’t do a thing, it gives us reasons why what we planned to do is not feasible. Below I will list the lies from our enemy-procrastination.
I know it’s important, but I can get to it later.
The sad truth is that we are not promised a later. “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62 Sounds sort of harsh, right? Not at all. Would you want someone working on soul-assignments that cannot commit, or perhaps cannot muster up the motivation? I would not want to work with an unmotivated person, so with the help of the Lord, I try not to be the unmotivated person. “But, Lord,” I exclaim. Undoubtedly there are as many reasons to be sad and do nothing as there are to give up and die but those are not our options, now are they? When I took quitting, rescheduling my commitments, not committing, and avoiding setting goals off the options list, the opportunities abounded. What Jesus is saying here in modern-day vernacular sounds something like, “How could you finish My God-given assignment for you if you cannot manage your meager to-do list on earth?” The word “fit” in Luke does not mean that people who start a work and get weary are not heaven-bound but rather “fit” in the sense that they may not be ready for their assignments yet. What I’ve noticed is that God in His Supreme Authority foreknowing that we would not all be entirely ready for our assignments, evidenced by the handling of our affairs places us in circumstances, trials, and situations to get us “fit” for kingdom work. Perhaps, our new motto could be, this is important, so I’m doing it now.
One of Team Satan’s fav’s: Causing us to feel a grave inadequacy in face of our overwhelming task.
There are occasions when we genuinely want to complete a task but we feel small in the before it. What if there are a series of tall tasks facing us? What do we do? Do we, tackle them bit by bit or run and hide, letting the chips fall where they please? Let me be the first to tell you that simultaneously managing life, family, school, work, ministry, outreach can feel very overwhelming. I’m sure that is not news to you. I’ve been so overwhelmed that I’d become imprisoned to my to-do list, and responsibilities, as well as the unknown. How many of us have built prisons and lived in them comfortably because we knew the warden, so we thought, only to realize we do not control as much as we think in these institutions. Procrastination is one of those sins, yup, it’s a sin. I will explain momentarily. Procrastination is one of those sins that we think we have reign over. It’s the kind that we do because it’s not that bad and it isn’t hurting anybody, after all, if we wanted to do _____ we could, right? I think not. I think feelings of inadequacy have given procrastination rule in our hearts. The elected warden to our self-inflicted prison now dictates to us. Think about those outrageous To Do list as an opportunity to demonstrate your preparedness for kingdom assignments. Also, on another level we are to steer from sin, so if we know that we committed to read the Bible more, pray more, attend classes, the list is relative to each of us we should be doing those things. For me, I made a commitment to write my life’s story, which became a blog, and then a ministry. I feel a pulse in all three. If any of my endeavors do not succeed it will not be because I did not commit that is for sure.
But this is the part where I get in trouble. I make a goal. “Finish the book.” Actually, it’s finished, edited twice over, I just need to go in and make the changes per the editor’s recommendations. But I need to make that simple task into an action step. For me, a goal is either met or otherwise deceased. So, my goal is to make goals with clear actions steps that will be determined by- Met, In Progress, Started, or Jesus Help!
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17
Things are so hard I cannot finish this. If God was with me, it would be so hard.
I’ve come to understand that the reason why the odds always seem impossible is because God is for me. Think about it, for God to get the glory, there must be famines, desolation, corrupt leadership, familial desertion, it may often look like all hope is lost, but then God Almighty steps in.
I purposely sped up my writing because that’s how quickly it happens., Suddenly, bleeding stops, there is fish in the famine. Suddenly, everything I’d been putting off for so long shrinks back down to size. But Jesus, wants me to use my knowledge of Him to push through, break through and finish. I know for sure, the difficult things that I had to cry, scratch, and scrape for are the things I remember. Let’s just say the past eight years have been memorable. There have been moments when things were going indiscernibly well, lurking quickly around the corner was the valley. God is teaching me that no matter what plane or season I find myself in, He is God of it all. Therefore, in the Valley in Winter, I can accomplish my tasks as I should on the mountaintop in Summer. Procrastination is often based on motivation which is sometimes dependent on the seasons, in the natural, but because we serve the God of every season our motivation should not waver. I am in training in this area. God is allowing me to be tested by the season and plane theory to show me if I will procrastinate or remain faithful to do a good work.
“God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:17
Please keep in mind that everything we’re avoiding due to fear and feelings of inadequacy we are magnifying above God. We sometimes put laundry, summer camps, doctors’ appointments, money, random goals, homelife deadlines, work stuff, people’s opinions, what to wear, the papers that need filing, getting the taxes done, you get the picture, these mundane tasks and things are often made as big as God in our minds when we take special care to avoid them because of fear or feelings of inadequacy. How do we conquer procrastination and not make gods of our To Do list? Perspective & Priority.
- How does God see this To Do item?
- Is this profitable to my spirit man or my carnal man?
- How many things do I do for my spirit man? Be honest.
- How many things do I do for my carnal man? Be honest.
- Why is there such an imbalance?
- In addition to adding this new item to my To Do list, I will add something to balance it for either the spiritual man or carnal man.
- How important is this to God?
- If this doesn’t matter to God, why does it matter to me?
- How can my priorities become God’s priorities?
- Can I delegate this task?
- If needed, I will accomplish this task and reward myself with ____.
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