Excuses, Excuses Go Away

A few years ago, Harvest House Publishers contracted Clayton and I to write a marriage book called 12 Questions to Ask Before You Marry. My heart was ecstatic but my stomach was nauseous. We had worked so hard to protect our marriage and I was afraid this book would be a Job-like invitation to Satan. I could just imagine Satan before God's throne saying, “They’re faithful now, but what if you gave me permission to test their marriage?”

After a few weeks of prayer, I was still afraid. But we signed the contract reasoning that if God was opening this door, he wouldn’t abandon us.

Fast-forward. Last year in Texas, we got a phone call from Sean Lowe . (Yep, the Sean Lowe from The Bachelor!) In this conversation, he told us that he received Jesus while Clayton was preaching at a student camp that we did as newly weds back in 1999 when he was still in middle school. He thanked Clayton for being such an important part of his life then, but also told us about our recent influence on his life.

After appearing on The Bachelor, he and Catherine read "12 Questions" in preparation for marriage and our book became instrumental in her coming to know Jesus. WHAT?! Yep, the Lord used my hesitant heart to write a marriage book which not only became part of someone’s salvation story, but also an encouragement to remain pure in their sexuality before their wedding day!

My fearful hesitation to obey God reminds me of the 5 excuses Moses gives God when God called him to rescue the Hebrews:

  1. Why me? (Exodus 3:11-12)

  2. They’re never going to believe YOU sent ME. Give me your secret name to prove it. (Ex 3:13-22)

  3. What if they still don’t believe you sent me after I do what you say? (Exodus 4:1-11)

  4. I’m not good at speeches. (Exodus 4:10)

  5. I don’t want to do it. Can you send someone else? (Exodus 4:13)

Every one of these excuses has occupied space in my brain, so I can’t judge Moses. What stands out to me in this story are the Lord’s 5 patient responses:

  1. I am not sending you alone. I will be with you.

  2. My name is the God of your fathers, I AM. If that’s not good enough, use these: the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Here are your step by step instructions. (Exodus 3:14-22)

  3. Okay, if it will make you more comfortable to have a sign, how about these: a snake trick, skin disease and turning the waters of the Nile to blood? (Exodus 4:1-9)

  4. I gave you breath and a mouth. I can help you talk. (Exodus 4:11)

  5. After the 5th excuse, the Lord is angry, but he still gives Moses what he wants-a friend to help him named Aaron. (Exodus 4:14-17

When the Lord calls us out of our comfort zone, fear can be a natural reaction. But God’s first answer to Moses is the secret to calming our fears, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

This answer contains two things:

  1. God promises to be with Moses.

  2. God promises Moses will know he was sent, but only after people have been delivered and they have returned to the mountain to pray.

I want to feel confident and assured before I do what God is asking, but often that comfort doesn't come until after we act in obedience. God tells Moses he won’t KNOW GOD SENT him until the people are delivered and he returns to the mountain.

I was not completely sure that we were supposed to write "12 Questions" until after the fact. Once it was written, God protected us and our marriage continues to thrive. Even now, we still see God using the book to change lives.

A decision made in faith fuels our trust and dependence in our a faithful God.

Lord, help me obey and trust in the midst of my fear and excuses.

© 2015 by Sharie King.  All rights reserved.

That Was Sweet, What Should I Tweet?

Sharie King travels and speaks at events for Clayton King Ministries. Call the office at(864) 437-8455 or check out this page for more info.