101 excuses for not obeying God's call

Why me God ? What can I do ? I'm too young ? Why not someone else God ? Those and questions like it are questions that you have probably asked yourself at least once. This article will explore our excuses and put them in a Biblical context.

These questions, as we shall see are not restricted simply to the 20th Century Man (or Woman), people have been asking them since time immemorial. Even the great heros of the Bible sometimes questioned God's orders.

For my peer group, the most common excuse is age - what can we do when we are only 18, 19 or 20 ? Jeremiah felt exactly the same, in Jerimiah 1:4-5 we hear his call from God and in verse 6 we see his answer to that call. He was only 20 when he started his ministry, and the local King, Josiah was only 8 when he became King, Samuel too was really young when he was called, so we can't really use age as an excuse.

Next we have the "He can't really want me to do that, can He ?" excuse. There are many differing reasons for this, they include seeing the request as silly, not the most "suitable" (to us) of decisions etc. Abraham must have experienced this sort of feeling as we read Genesis 22, God having finally given him a son, now wants Abraham to scarifice him.

In this case, God's call was a test of faith to God to see who he valued more highly - Isaac or God. Do we have things that we would find it hard to give up for God ? or would we like Abraham follow even when the duty seemed peculiar ? Jesus talks about this in Luke 14:25-33.

Many of us have avoided the "draft" to work in some places or with some types of people. We see these areas as off-limits, their people as untouchable, AIDS patients, those with terminal or disfiguring diseases like cancer or leprosy, racial minorities. People always have and probably always will feel the same about that.

Jesus was often being attacked by the Jewish Leaders because He spent time with these types of people, read what he says about "untouchables" in Luke 19:10. Do we follow the same example, or do we shy away from these people ?

Jonah in a similar way had problems with his call in Jonah 1:1-3. He did not want to go and preach God's word in the land of his enemies. His reason - and ours deep down probably in a similar situation - is that he disliked the people so much he didn't want God to save them.

After some subtle persuasion Jonah agrees and finally learns his lesson - and hopefully we do too - in jonah 4. Have you ever like Jonah tried to hide from God ? why ? Is it really possible to "escape" from his presence ? (see Psalm 139:1-16).

Another common excuse is "Why not him ?", God obviously has the wrong person and we need to help him out by telling him. Does the last statement seem a bit illogical to you ? However, we often feel that ther are people better suited to our individual call than us. However God has created each of us uniquely and has a special task for us all (see Psalm 139:1-4, 13-16 & Jeremiah 1:5) He knows us better than we know ourselves, so he will always pick the right person - not always the most suitable person - for the job.

You may feel that God can't or won't want to use you because of your sinful nature, however God thinks differently. One of the most Anti-Christian men of New Testament times - Saul - was converted and then mightily used for the glory of God, see Acts 9:1-19.

Often you may feel that after all the failures you've had in trying to do his work that God won't ask you again in a hurry. Acts 2 and John 21:15-17 show God's answer to that statement.

Sometimes we agree that God's idea will work with the people He has selected, but the time is just not quite right for us. Jesus, however gives a clear response to the "not just yet" group in Matthew 19:16-22 and Luke 9:57-62.

Although following God is our choice, God asks us when we are able to do the task, even if we don't agree. Sometimes we disagree because we don't see ourseleves capable of achieving the task that God has laid before us. Moses too felt the same way, in Exodus 3:11,6:30 tell us how he reacted to his call. Yet when he finally agreed he was more than capable.

Do you have anymore excuses left ? Or are you now ready to answer the call, like Isaiah in Isaiah 6:8 ?


There are many reasons why God would not want you, but don't worry. You're in good company!

- Moses stuttered.
-- David's armor didn't fit.
--- John Mark was rejected by Paul.
---- Hosea's wife was a prostitute.
----- Amos' only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
------ Jacob was a liar.
------- David had an affair.
-------- Solomon was too rich.
--------- Abraham was too old.
---------- David was too young.
----------- Timothy had ulcers.
------------ Peter was afraid of death.
------------- Lazarus was dead.
-------------- John was self-righteous.
--------------- Jesus was too poor.
-------------- Naomi was a widow.
------------- Paul was a murderer. So was Moses.
------------ Jonah ran from God.
----------- Miriam was a gossip.
---------- Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
--------- Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
-------- Elijah was burned out.
------- John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
------ Martha was a worrywart.
----- Mary was lazy.
---- Samson had long hair.
--- Noah got drunk.
-- Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
- So did Peter, Paul--well, lots of folks did.

Source Unknown.

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