“Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.” Hebrews 3:7-9
One of the most tolerated and underrated sins that can be committed is the sin of procrastination. There can be severe consequences for putting off some decision or action that God expects. The illustration used in this text is the familiar story of the children of Israel’s opportunity to possess the land of Canaan. Rather than obey God and occupy the land, they believed the negative report of the ten spies and postponed their action. When they did not promptly obey, they forfeited their opportunity. The result was that they had to spend forty years wandering in the wilderness until an entire generation died.
It is a mistake to believe that tomorrow will always offer the same opportunities as today. We see many examples in the New Testament of those who seized their chance by acting promptly when an opportunity presented itself. Blind Bartimaeus would not be denied his opportunity to have the attention of Jesus, the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment seized her moment for healing, Zacchaeus who climbed the tree, and many others testify to the power and wisdom of acting on divine opportunities. They did not procrastinate about their decisions. To refuse to act could mean the end of their opportunity.
In addition, the refusal to obey God when He prompts us about something can result in the heart being hardened and less sensitive and responsive. At times, we have the notion that somehow it may be easier to obey in the future. Contrary to that false idea, it is usually more difficult to obey later. When one says “no” the first time, it usually becomes easier to say “no” again.
Today is a wonderful gift from God, and we must learn to take advantage of the opportunities each day presents. To wait to do God’s will when we know what He would have us do is a subtle trap of the enemy to keep us from the blessings God has for us. It seems that many, like Felix, are looking for a more convenient time to do what is right. May God help us to take advantage of the moments that we have; otherwise, we will look back with regret and wish that we would have done more with today.