Please Excuse My Behavior
Luke 14:16,18 A man once gave a great banquet and invited many… But they all alike began to make excuses.
I have lived with an excuse for every day of the week for refusing God’s invitation. I would love to spend time with you God, but I need to sleep. I have to work early. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow. I need to spend time with the kids. I’ll get up early tomorrow…
I have made, what I thought to be, very reasonable excuses to skip time with God, one day at a time until it added up to months and years. Then, when life fell apart, I had the audacity to wonder why I did not feel close to God. How did I get here? How did I end up pursuing myself to such destruction? Where were you God? I consistently excused myself from time with God and thus, consistently followed self to inevitable consequences.
In today’s passage, Jesus told a parable to illustrate how God is constantly inviting us to commune with him. He told the story of a man who planned a great banquet but when the time came for the guests to come, they all had excuses. One needed to inspect his new land, one his new oxen and one could not come because his wife would not let him. I apologize, but I am busy. Please have me excused.
In the end, this angered the host who declared that those who refused his invitation would receive exactly what they chose. None of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet (v 24).
This is our reality. The creator of the universe is continually calling us to commune with him in a very real, intimate relationship. Though he is everywhere, we are called to experience that presence as we read his word, pray, meditate and listen to him. He longs for us to daily choose to answer his invitation, focusing our lives on him instead of making excuses to follow self.
This is what those men were doing of course. Each excuse they offered was simply a justification for turning from God to follow self. They were not pursuing things that were obviously evil. They were just pursuing occupation, possessions and family. These things are not wrong until we use them as an excuse to refuse God. Anything we have, no matter how good it may be, becomes evil when we put it before God.
This then, is my choice. I may daily make excuses to follow self, or I can choose to spend time pursuing God. I do not do it perfectly, but every day, I now choose to get up early and before I do anything else, spend time with God. This does not mean I abandon job, responsibility and family or that I live perfectly. It just means that I make a genuine attempt to daily point my life at God instead of self.
God is calling. Will we answer or will we continue to make excuses? If we insist on following self, Jesus says we will get exactly what we pursue.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.