Are you tempted to think, former procrastinators, “I have enough self-control to nibble on the bait and not get hooked”? Wow. Even thinking that is giving in to temptation. It’s dangerous to toy with the devil’s lures.
Regarding putting off the work, play, or rest we should do, Proverbs 6:6-11 reminds us that if we fail to prepare in season, “poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” We’ll be surprised by the sorry state we find ourselves in as a result of delay. The temptation to delay is usually attractive. There are plenty of righteous-sounding excuses we can use to justify ourselves. But the Lord God knows the truth.
May we desire not the bait the enemy holds out to us, but the praise of our Lord. May we desire His rewards and value Him so highly that we choose His way and look forward to His rewards.
There’s a story of a nobleman who sought a carriage driver of great skill who could be trusted to drive his daughter. The nobleman questioned several men on their abilities. One man boasted, “Sir, I can drive so close to the edge of a steep precipice that the wheels of the carriage come to within 3 inches of the side, yet I drive safely on.” Another driver claimed, “I, sir, can drive within 2 inches of such a precipice and not fall over the side.” The nobleman turned to the third man, “And you?” “Sir, I drive as far away from the edge as possible.”
The nobleman saw strength of character in a man who avoided the edge. He admired that driver’s humility and wisdom. He knew he could entrust that man with with his daughter’s care. The nobleman rewarded the prudent man with the job.
Are you tempted to rely on your abilities to keep from falling? Stay far away from the edge. Don’t go close to look over. Below are the broken bodies of those who thought they were stronger and shrewder than the pull of gravity – who thought they could nibble the bait without getting hooked. Getting close does not defeat the devil. Staying far away does.
The prudent man is the one God rewards. We should desire His rewards because He delights in giving them to us. He offers them in love. He equips us to make the choices that lead to His rewards.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)
What do you value more – the appeal of the moment or a greater eternal reward?