I've been dwelling on excuses that people give lately (me included.) There's a lot of them, especially when it comes to living righteously with obedience to everything God calls them to.
- I don't want to be legalistic/religious.
- God's standard is too high for anyone to meet.
- I'm not called to be a missionary or full-time ministry.
- Doesn't feel right to say you aren't supposed to do that.
- I see great spiritual leaders doing those types of things all the time.
- I haven't had the same opportunities
- Avoiding legalism should never be an excuse for a poor devotion life. If you're worried that it will turn into "going through the motions" don't get rid of the motions, put some fire behind them! The devil would love to label every act of righteousness as religioes legalism so that Christians never reach their spiritual potential.
- God's righteous standard is too high. Get over it. It's not an excuse to sin. It's a call to live more righteously than what we're living now. The Psalmist asked God, "Search my heart, see if there be any wicked way in me." He was constantly in self evaluation mode, or more accurately, holy-spirit evaluation mode.
- There is no second call for those who are supposed to live a "normal life." God's call for everyone, preacher, youth pastor, missionary, mechanic, plumber, teacher or waiter is to pray constantly, memorize and live out scripture, and worship God with abandon.
- There's a way that seems right to a man and the end thereof is death. Don't trust your feelings. Trust every word in the Bible. I'm sure the pharisees int he Bible had a feeling that the messiah would come in thunder and lightning and save them from their roman oppressors. The messiah that actually came came went against every nerve in their bodies and that's why they got rid of Him.
- Jesus says that there will be people who get to the judgement who have done great miracles such as healing people and casting out demons, and still won't make it into heaven. Don't get caught up in following people who have spiritual gifts. Follow people who are exhibiting fruit that was grown in the secret place of private devotion.
- In the Parable of the Talents, the Lord gave three men talents, one he gave 10, another 5, and a third he gave 1. They each didn't have a separate standard by which they were judged, they were all called to fervent stewardship with what they were given. To simply give God back the things He's given you will not be enough come judgement day. You have to have ardent devotion to multiply what he's given. Don't be standing in front of the returning master of the house with a handful of seeds, get out there and grow some fruit!