No Time Like the Present

And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah. And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months. And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father's house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him. And his father in law, the damsel's father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there. And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel's father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way. And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel's father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry. And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again. And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the damsel's father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they tarried until afternoon, and they did eat both of them. And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel's father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home. But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him. - Judges 19:1-10

I know this seems like an odd passage for a devotion, but I promise you, there is spiritual meat here to feast upon.  I want to focus on the father in this story.  Did you notice how every time the Levite tried to leave, the father used some means or persuasion to get him to stay?  "Oh, stay another night.  You can leave tomorrow."  "You don't want to leave now.  It's nearly dark.  Wait one more day."  And on and on the excuses went.  Sound familiar?

Have you ever started to perform a certain task (particularly something for the Lord) and heard that persuasive whisper calling out to you?  "You don't need to do that now.  You can wait until tomorrow.  One more day won't make a difference."

Procrastination is an ugly habit, but truth be told it's more than that--it's a sin.  James 4:17 says, Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.  We know it's good to do those things the Lord has set before us to do.  We also know that we shouldn't put things off.  But we do it anyway, and according to James, that's sin.

Never forget that one of Satan's deadliest darts is that of distraction.  He loves to get us sidetracked.  He revels in seeing us put things off time and time again until they either don't get done at all or they get done half-heartedly.  And like the father in the story above, he doesn't stop with one excuse or plea.  He continues on and on until we're so far from where God wants us to be that we don't even know how to begin to find our way back.

Be on guard.  Stay tuned for that little voice in the back of your head that says, "Wait until tomorrow.  Do it later.  Just another day."  These words are not from the Lord, and they can cause a great deal of trouble!