There is No Procrastination in War
I wrote this over a year ago and had it posted on another site, but I thought I would share it again with a few minor changes.
I have been thinking lately about tomorrow – the “tomorrow” we all seem to assume will come. I guess it is partly because over the past year or so I have become painfully aware that the sin of procrastination has slipped into my life. Now before you think I am going overboard by calling procrastination a sin, understand that I am not saying anything that God’s Word does not say. James 4:17 states “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” Also, Proverbs 27:1 says “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Thankfully, God has made me aware of the devastation my procrastination could lead to and through his strength, I have begun to fight it.
But as I have been thinking about my tendency to put things off and the ease with which I do so, I cannot help but put it in the context of how I treat my time with my children. A few verses before the one just mentioned, James says this: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
The idea that I will have a “tomorrow” to accomplish the things which I know I need to do today is so easy, it is boastful, it is proud. Satan wants it to be easy. But the truth is that this is critical when we are talking about the discipleship of our children. I love how the apostle Paul references Biblical fatherhood as being so foundational to Christians that he could use it as an analogy in other instances. Look what he says in his first letter to the church in Thessalonica (2:11-12) “For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.” (emphasis mine)
We only get one (roughly) 18 year period for true impact of our discipleship. Do not get me wrong here, there are other and important opportunities after children are grown and leave home, but their time spent under our roof is the most precious and life-forming.
Walk with me through a quick scenario…
WHAT IF you were told that TOMORROW you will send your sons and daughters into the battlefield? TOMORROW, they will suit up with whatever armor and weapons you have equipped them with and walk alone into the midst of chaos to wage war. TOMORROW, your son will for the last time, ask your permission to leave the safety of your home before he confronts the enemy on his own. TOMORROW your daughter will encounter deception at every turn; the fog of war will be heavy. The potential for confusion is going to be extreme… TOMORROW. The enemy is prepared to and will attack at the first opportunity… and the target is your precious son or daughter. Visualize your children as they suit up with ONLY what you have given them as of this very moment to survive!
The problem is that most of us cannot really relate to this scenario. The idea of our children growing up and leaving home is so far removed from the above images that these questions ring hollow to many of us. Simply put, we do not have a wartime mentality. We do not think we are at war. My response to that is… we ARE at war! Satan and his minions have plans for your children. Plans which if you heard would make you cry, plans that would make you vomit, plans that will lead your children straight to destruction – IF, they aren’t prepared to fight in the strength of the Lord. Read the following scriptures. Read them slowly and listen for the language of war.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
If we can allow God to transform our thinking into a true spiritual wartime mindset, then every hour, every minute, every second we have with our children becomes an opportunity for discipleship. I assure you, even if you have never thought in these terms before, you have been training your children. What you treasure – whether it is your hobbies, time at work, stuff, etc. – shows them what to treasure.
I know we all have busy schedules. I know our days go by so, so fast. But if you think you are going to have tomorrow to disciple your children, Satan’s snipers already have you and your children in their crosshairs! Their fingers have begun to apply tension to the trigger! What are you going to do about it?
The Biblical solution is to LEAD… TODAY! First and foremost, lead them to the cross of Christ, daily! Lead them in Bible study. Lead them in prayer. Lead them in worship. Lead them by your example. Lead them by loving your wife the way God calls you to. Lead them through loving your husband the way God calls you to. Lead them through God’s strength. Don’t focus on your failures! Focus on Christ and allow them to see your focus on Him!
We are in enemy occupied territory… tomorrow your children will walk out of your door to face the battle head-on. TODAY, you have the opportunity to prepare them.
Men behave themselves as those who depend on another day, when they neglect anything today which must be done before they die. – Jonathan Edwards