BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
Human beings like making excuses why they couldn’t do or can’t do what they’ve been asked to do or why they did what they were forbidden to do. This is so common in our relationship with fellow human beings, especially authority figures. However, the first excuse made by man was, actually, in his relationship with God.
Adam and Eve made excuses for eating the forbidden fruit. Adam told God that the woman He gave him made him disobey Him (Gen 3:12). In other words, he told God it was not his fault! After all, when he was alone in the Garden of Eden he didn’t eat the fruit; he obeyed God! That excuse didn’t save him from God’s judgment. No excuse for sinning will save any sinner.
Eve also made an excuse. She blamed the serpent for her disobedience (verse 13). The truth, however, is that there is no excuse for sin. James 1:13-15 says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (NKJV).
The Bible says, “People have no excuse for the bad things they do” (Rom 1:20c NCV). No saint has any excuse to sin. “You are not slaves; you are free. But your freedom is not an excuse to do evil. You are free to live as God’s slaves” (1 Peter 2:16 NLT).
Just as no saint has any excuse for sinning, no sinner has. No sinner will have any excuse for not being saved from going to hell. Jesus has already died for all. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22 NCV).
Don’t make excuses. God won’t ask you to obey His word if it is impossible for you to obey it; His commandments are not harsh. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3 NKJV).
God won’t ask you to do anything He knows you can’t do. If He asks you to do anything, He knows you can do it. You can do whatever God asks you to do. Phil 4:13 says. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (NKJV). Don’t give God reasons why you couldn’t or can’t carry out an assignment He has given you – your lack of sufficient money or lack of enough education or social connections is not even a strong excuse when God says arise and do something. You must believe God and step out in faith.
God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise (1 Cor 1:27). Nobody is sufficient on his own; God is your sufficiency (2 Cor 3:5). God will never ask you to do anything that will make you not to need Him. He always wants you to do what He has asked you to do. You must maintain faith in Him, not in your abilities. Never made excuses for failing to do what God has asked you to do or asked you not to do. Fulfill your ministry or assignment he has given you (Col 4:17).
Some examples of those who made excuses
1. Moses: He made different excuses why he was the wrong man for God’s assignment for him to deliver the Israelites from Egypt (Exo 3, 4). He finally told God he was not eloquent, and that He should send another person (Exo 4:10, 13). He made God angry. God didn’t make a mistake choosing him for the assignment. He assured him that Aaron the Levite, his brother, who was in Egypt, would be his spokesman. With the rod in Moses’ hand, Moses would perform miraculous signs (Exo 4:14-17). Moses eventually went and did what God asked him to do. God used him mightily.
2. Aaron: He made an excuse for making for the people the golden calf, thereby promoting idolatry at the time Moses was away to Mount Sinai to receive the Law from the LORD (Exo 32:22-24). His excuse was not tenable. The people asked him to make them gods that would go before them since they didn’t know what had happened to Moses who brought them out of Egypt. But he told them to break off the golden earrings in the ears of their wives, sons, and daughters, which he collected from them, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf (verses 2-5).
How could he say that the golden calf jumped out of the fire after he had thrown into the fire the earrings the people gave him? If the people requested for an idol, must he give it to them? He failed as a leader in the absence of Moses. There is no excuse for sin.
3. The ten spies: They made an excuse about the giants in the land of Canaan. They said they were not able to go into the land to possess it because of the giants (Num 13:27-29, 31-33). But God said He had given them the land (verse 1). Caleb and Joshua chose to believe God (Num 13:30, 14:6-9).
Don’t make excuses why you cannot do what God has asked you to do. It could be because of fear. Fear not. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). Excuses could also be because of laziness. The Bible says because the lazy man is too lazy to work, he gives a lame excuse that there is a lion in the road, a fierce lion in the streets (Prov 26:13). Don’t be lazy.
4. Gideon: In Judges 6:12-15, Gideon made excuses why he wasn’t the right person to deliver the Israelites from the seven-year captivity under the Midianites. He said, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (verse 15 NKJV).
His excuses didn’t stand before God. When he was ready to answer the call of God, He used him mightily. He became the mighty man of valor that God had called him initially.
5. Saul: King Saul made an excuse for violating Prophet Samuel’s word to wait for him for seven days till he would come to him and show him what he should do (1 Sam 10:8).
He went ahead to offer burnt sacrifice, which was outside his mandate as a king. His excuse was that he had waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel, but he did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him (1 Sam 13:8-14).
As soon as he offered the sacrifice, Samuel came. He should have waited more. It was not his duty to offer a burnt offering to the LORD even if Samuel was late and the people were starting to go away from him. In 1 Sam 10:8, Samuel didn’t say he was coming only to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. He said he would show him what to do. Saul made the burnt offering, but did he know what Samuel said he wanted to show him? He didn’t wait for that.
“And Samuel said, What have you done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were going away from me, and you had not come at the time which had been fixed, and the Philistines had come together at Michmash; I said, Now the Philistines will come down on me at Gilgal, and I have made no prayer for help to the Lord: and so, forcing myself to do it, I made a burned offering” (BBE 1 Sam 13:11-12). Samuel told Saul he had done a foolish thing: he had not kept the rules which the LORD gave him. Because of his disobedience, the LORD discontinued his kingdom and gave it to a man after His own heart, David.
On another occasion, Saul made an excuse for not utterly destroying the Amalekites, as ordered by God through Samuel. He initially lied that he had obeyed the Word of God. His excuses on these two occasions were unacceptable. God rejected him as king (1 Sam 15 13-23, 28).
6. Naaman: This Syrian army commander would have missed his healing when he came to Prophet Elisha, who told him to go to River Jordan and dip in the river seven times. He made an excuse: there were better rivers in his country. Reluctantly, he eventually obeyed the prophet. It was in the river that he despised that God healed him (2 Kings 5:9-14).
It’s not your preference that’s important; it’s obeying God and doing His will. Not your will, but His will be done (Luke 22:42).
7. The two prospective disciples of Jesus: In Luke 9:59, Jesus asked someone to follow him (become his disciple), but he told Jesus to allow him to first go and bury his father. Jesus replied that he should allow the dead to bury their own dead; but he should go and preach the kingdom of God.
In Matthew’s account, Jesus told him to follow Him, and let the dead bury their own dead (Matt 8:21-22). Some Bible scholars have suggested that the man’s father might not have died yet at this time; he could be near death. But this man wanted to wait till his father died before he would answer the call. Did he know when he would die? What an unnecessary delay! The preaching of the gospel is urgent; no time must be wasted.
Jesus said anyone who loves father or mother more than Him is not worthy of Him and anyone who loves son or daughter more than Him is not worthy of Him (Matt 10:37). The Father’s business must be attended to first, not your own business (Luke 2:49).
There was another prospective disciple who made an excuse. Luke 9:61 says he told Jesus that he would follow Him, but He should let him first go and bid farewell those who were at his house. But Jesus told him no one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Jesus turned down his request probably because he knew that his relations would discourage him from following an itinerary preacher. He would, therefore, not come back to Him.
The excuses of these two people were rejected. Their excuses were unlike the sincere request made by Elisha when Elijah called him. Elisha’s excuse was approved by Elijah, apparently because it was the right thing to do. When Elijah called him, he asked for his permission to go kiss his father and my mother, and then would follow him. Elijah granted his request. After Elisha had given his people a farewell food, he returned to follow Elijah, as he had promised. He was sincere. He became his servant (1 Kings 19:19-21). The calling of God is superior to any other duty on earth.
8. The invitees to the king’s wedding banquet: They received the first invitation, and there was no record that they said they wouldn’t be able to attend. But when the second invitation was given to them, which was usually close to the occasion, they came up with different excuses. “But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” (Luke 14:18-20 NKJV). They turned down the invitation.
The king ordered that those who ordinarily would never have been invited should be invited. They came and ate with him. Nothing was wasted (Luke 14:16-24).
9. The sick man at the pool of Bethesda: He had been sick for 38 years and was lying helpless at this pool when Jesus came there. He asked if he wanted to be healed and the man made an excuse about why he had not been healed. That wasn’t what Jesus asked him. Jesus didn’t ask him if he had any man to put him inside the pool or not. Anyway, Jesus, apparently out of mercy, healed him (John 5:1-15).
Conclusion: Please, learn from the Bible characters we have looked at in this message. The list is not exhaustive. Understand that God won’t accept any excuse for disobeying His Word. Don’t make excuses for doing what is wrong or for not doing what is right. Paul told the Ephesians, “Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him” (Eph 5:6 NLT). Don’t even make excuses why the Word of God can’t be fulfilled in your life or His power can’t solve your problem!
Obey the Word of God promptly and willingly. “‘If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword’, For the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 1:19-20 NKJV). To obey is still better than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22). Obey God; don’t make excuses.
If you’re not born again, I invite you to take the following steps: *Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible -teaching church. There you will be taught how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I’m a sinner and I can’t save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent and confess my sins. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you’ve said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You’ll need to join a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church in your area where you’ll be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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