In the first chapter of my book, “I’m a Dream Girl: A Guide to Fulfilling Your God-Given Dreams” I start with Dream Killers. There are many things which hinder the dreams and visions that have been placed in our hearts a long time ago. I talk about procrastination as a dream killer early on because if we continue to delay and not move forward nothing happens. Procrastination is a symptom of a much deeper problem. We often wonder, why do I always wait until the last minute to get things done? Why do I delay? Why do I miss deadlines? Why do I not accomplish the things I have in my heart and on my list? Is it merely poor time management? Or is there something else going on?
As a nurse of over 30 years, one thing I have been taught over time is, treating symptoms makes the patient feel better but it does not make the patient well. From a medical perspective healing typically comes when we deal with the cause or the root of the problem. For example, if a patient comes to an emergency department with abdominal pain in the right lower quadrant they could potentially have an appendicitis. Typically, the pain is significant and many times accompanied with fever, nausea and vomiting. We can give the patient pain medicine, fever control and even something for nausea. We have something for almost every symptom. If we send the patient home with these symptoms and no further work-up of lab and x-rays the patient has the potential to get worse or even die. The reason for a possible poor outcome is, we did not send the patient to surgery to have his appendix removed and get antibiotics started for the infection. Once we deal with the cause the symptoms will subside. Procrastination is the symptom, fear is the root that needs to be removed, faith is the antibiotic we need to infuse. There is often cause and effect in every arena in our lives. When we operate in fear we tend to procrastinate or conversely move too soon. In this blog I want to look at procrastination rooted in fear.
There have been lots of articles written about procrastination that address great tips on how to avoid and remove it from our lives. I want to examine procrastination from a spiritual perspective.
Maybe God has given us an assignment, a vision, a dream or some promise He wants us to possess and it is time for us to move forward but find ourselves delaying. In the Bible God shows us an example of a time when He gave His people a clear assignment and they would not take action and move forward. It is found in the book of Numbers Chapter 13. The Lord spoke to Moses and instructed him to send spies from all 12 Tribes of Israel into the land of Canaan. Canaan is the Promised Land God had given to them. All they had to do was to possess it. After the twelve spied out the land they came back with a report. Ten of the spies gave the majority report. The report was, the land is truly flowing with milk and honey but we cannot take the land because the people are stronger and bigger than us, the city walls are fortified. “They are like giants and we are like grasshoppers.” Then Caleb stood up and said, let us go up at once and take possession of the land, we are well able to overcome it.” Caleb was part of the minority report. Each of the spies saw the same things but it was what they believed about God and their relationship with God that determined what they reported and what action they took.
What lessons can we learn from this ancient wisdom.
1.BELIEVE GOD – When God gives us an assignment He does not leave us alone to accomplish it by ourselves. Part of believing God is believing what He is assigning you is necessary and important. He had already given the promise. Believe what He says.
2.RENOUNCE FEAR – Ask God to show you the root of why you are delaying on the assignment or the vision He has given you. In many instances in the Bible the delay was due to fear. When we are fearful we sometimes shrink back and do not move forward. We actually are paralyzed.
3.HAVE FAITH – We must exercise the kind of faith Caleb showed. He was confident that he could accomplish the assignment. He said, “we are well able to overcome it.” He recognized there might be difficulties to overcome but was not deterred by them. His confidence was not in himself alone but in the God who had already shown Himself powerful on their behalf. In chapter 14 of Numbers he said, “the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” In other words, he was saying have faith in our God.
4.TAKE ACTION AND MOVE FORWARD – Caleb said let us go up at once and take possession. When God gives us an assignment to move forward, then MOVE FORWARD and don’t delay. A whole generation is depending on us. Part of the action we must take is to prioritize what is important. God’s assignment cannot continue to be placed just anywhere on our list, it must make its way to the top of the list. The next action we must take is to make a plan to deal with time wasters. The biggest distraction for many is being glued to the screens in our lives. We watch excessive amounts of TV, spend hours on Social Media, surf the internet, play hours of digital games, and talk on the phone via text and voice. Another thing we must take action on is dealing with negativity. Negative words and negative people can keep us from moving forward. We must make a conscious effort to not be influenced by negative people and refuse to allow negative words to come from our mouths. We must speak works of faith and not words of worry, anxiety and fear.
The sad part about this story is Caleb and Joshua were in the minority but were the two who had the right vision and who spoke words of faith. They were willing to take immediate action. The majority report was the report the people believed. They saw themselves as not being able to go forward so they convinced the people to hold off and/or delay. The decision to delay caused God to make a different decision. Instead of helping the 12 Tribes possess the land flowing with milk and honey He rejected them. They spied the land for forty days, and God allowed them to bear the guilt by letting them wander in the wilderness forty years. One year for every day they spied out the land. Procrastination and delaying in many instance is seen by God as disobedience. If the enemy of our souls can convince us to not move forward on the assignment God has given us, others miss out on what we were to contribute to expanding the Kingdom of God. So, how do we Believe God? Renounce Fear? Have Faith? and Take Action?
1.See yourself as a noble vessel God wants to use to accomplish great things for Him.
2.Spend some time in God’s presence reading His Word, worshipping, praying, developing a relationship with God. We cannot believe anyone we don’t know and trust.
3.Renouncing fear is not easy. Start by saying out of your own mouth I renounce the spirit of fear over my life. “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind.” Fear has no place in my life.
4.Continue by saying, “I have faith to overcome the fear that has kept me in a mode of procrastination. I believe fear and procrastination are gone from my life.”
5.Pray and ask God what the first step is, get in prayerful agreement with other believers and take action. Even if it is baby steps toward what God says do. He may ask for some giant steps at times too. Take action and move forward!!!