Hi, this is Joel and Victoria. Thanks for downloading our podcast. We enjoy spending this time with you. I hope you'll leave Inspire. Make sure you subscribe to get new messages every week. We appreciate your support. It helps keep the ministry going. Enjoy the message. It is always a joy to come into your homes each week, and we know that God has good things in store for you, so we come with good news and we just believe that today you're going to be changed as you listen if you're ever in our area.
I hope you'll stop by. I give you a personal invitation. I say it often, but these are the finest people in all of Houston will make it feel right at home. So come by and see us. We'd love to have you, but thanks for tuning in today. I like to get started each week with something funny. So see what you think of this one. A young man received a parrot as a gift, but the parrot had an extremely cantankerous attitude and every word out of his mouth was rude and obnoxious.
The young man got so fed up with it. One day he grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer, hoping to teach him a lesson. The parrot squawked and kicked and screamed, but then suddenly fell silent, fearing he had hurt him. He quickly opened the door. The parrot stepped out and said, I believe I may have offended you. I'm seriously remorseful and promised to never to behave that way again. And by the way, the parrot continued.
May I ask what the turkey did?
Hold your Bibles up and say it like you mean it. Ready? This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do. Today will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I will never be the same. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible Evelin, the seed of the word of God.
I'll never be the same. Never, never, never, never be the same in Jesus name. God bless you. You sound great. As usual. I want to talk to you today about one of the greatest enemies that we will ever face, and that is procrastination. How many people you moan like the other services, how many people know in their heart what they should do down in here? They know what's right and they have good intentions, but they just keep putting it off and putting it all in.
The interesting thing about procrastination, is it so easy to justify? We think one day I'm going to do that. So I'm not really being disobedient. Joel, one day and we'll get serious about my relationship with God, just not right now or one day. And we'll get back in shape one day. I will get my finances in order or one day and will forgive that person that hurt me. No, the problem with that is most of the time, one day never comes, never get around to it.
We're always making some other excuse. And I've discovered that if the enemy can't get us to be outright disobedient, his next plan of attack is to simply deceive us into putting it all where we know what we should do. God, I'm planning to do it, just not right now. I'm planning to tie my income as soon as my finances get better. I'm planning to serve in the children's ministry as soon as it slows down at my office. What we're saying is I have good intentions.
I'm planning on being obedient. So that's not so bad. But no good intentions don't equal obedience and really delayed obedience, not even obedience. And when God is speaking to your heart, when your conscience is talking to you down in here, maybe about changing your attitude or apologizing to that loved one, treating somebody better, yet you keep putting it off and putting it all all that's going to do is steal your joy and keep you from God's very best.
And I want to challenge you today to be a now person, start doing what God has put in your heart right now. Don't just be obedient, be extremely obedient, be prompt to obey, and you've got to learn to listen to your conscience. God speaks to us right down in here. And some of you go to bed practically every night with a guilty conscience. You can hardly even sleep. And it's because you're putting off what you know you should be doing.
When we procrastinate, it makes us feel bad about ourselves. It condemns us. You go in the house, see that dirty laundry room that you've been meaning to clean for two months, and you've got a sink full of dishes and your garage is a big mess. Every time you go in, there is going to depress you. You gonna think, man, what is wrong with me? I'm never going to get this place cleaned up. I'm so lazy.
I'm would just go in, sit down and watch some more TV. That's a negative cycle and it's going to continue unless you put your foot down and say, you know what, I'm going to get my house in order. I will make some changes today. No more procrastinating for me. And we'll get this place cleaned up. If it's the last thing I do see, stop putting off what you know you should do. It is less painful to dig your heels in and do it than it is to go day after day, week after week, guilty and condemned because you're not doing what you should do.
You go in against your conscience. And some of you today are living kind of frustrated because you've got about twenty five unfinished projects around the house. You got one room half painted and the yard needs to be weeded and you had to balance a checkbook in six months. Your middle name could be procrastination ushers. You better lock the doors. Three people have already left. Three more wanted to leave, but they keep putting it off. But seriously, Guard's been dealing with some of you about getting out of debt now, controlling your spending and not being so quick to use those credit cards, but you keep falling into that trap.
Yes, one day I will make those changes. One day. I know I've got to get that in order. But let me just run up to the mall one more time. Know, the scripture says if you know the right thing to do but you're not doing it, then that sin when you say you mean it's a sin for me to spend too much money. Listen carefully, Victoria. If you know in your heart it's not right and you're going against your conscience and down in here it's telling you, what am I doing?
I'm out of control. Why do I keep spending this money? But if you just keep doing that, then yes, that's being disobedient. And when we are disobedient, we're not going to have God's blessings. And I don't know what areas you may be tempted to procrastinate in today. Some of you may not think you have any area, but really, I believe we all have things that we can obey more quickly in. And I'm not here to condemn anybody.
I'm just asking you to search your heart today. Are there people in your life, you know, you need to forgive, but you just keep putting it all? Are you putting off spending time with your family or are you putting off taking steps to live a healthier life? Some of you know you need to get on an exercise program. You know, deep down in here, you need to take care of this temple. God is given. You need to get in shape.
You're saying? Yeah, that's right. That's me. And sure enough, I'm going to do it. I'm will start this summer as soon as the kids get out of school. That's delayed obedience. That's not God's best. You may be thinking, I know I need to eat healthier. I know I eat too much junk food. I know I drink too many sodas. And yes, I will make changes. But some of the time where I can hear you say, Joe, you hit the nail on the head.
I know I've got to do something with my finances. I know I need to balance my checkbook. And so, by golly, next month or two I will sit and do it. Now, don't put that off. Do you know, the longer we put things off, the harder it's going to be to do. The other day, one of our children spilled something on the carpet. So I went and got the carpet cleaner, the stain remover.
And as I was reading the directions, I found something kind of interesting. It said that I needed to get to that spot as quickly as possible to not let it dry, not let it soak in. But I had to put that solution on it immediately. In other words, it was saying the quicker you deal with it, the easier it's going to be to remove. And really, I believe it's the same way in our lives when God brings something to light an area that you need to change, something that you need to make.
Right. That's when you need to take action, not next week when you feel like it or not. Next month, when your circumstances are better, do it right. Then that's when you're going to have the annoying thing to do it. And some of you you may have a person in your life right now that, you know, down in here you need to forgive. And God's been dealing with you about it again and again. But you didn't thank me, and I can't do that.
They hurt me. Too bad it wasn't fair. But the longer you put it off, the more difficult it's going to be. And if you just take that step of faith and even release it right now, God will give you the grace you need and you'll be amazed at how you begin to get your joy and victory back. I remember growing up we knew this Methodist minister and his hands were all crippled up with arthritis. It was very sad situation.
He couldn't drive anymore. He could barely even get himself dressed in the morning. But one day he heard my father speaking on forgiveness and the importance of letting go of the past. And he told how for years he had held onto this bitterness on the inside, toward these people that had done him wrong when he was just a young man and he knew he needed to forgive. He knew it was the right thing, but he just chose not to do it.
And it's funny, I made a lot of people like that today. They know they should let go of the past or they know they should change their attitude. They know they need to forgive, but they're just making the choice for some reason not to do it. Well, this man, when he heard my father that really convicted his heart and he made a decision right then and there that he was going to stop putting it off and he was just going to do what he knew he should do and just let it go.
He said, God, I just forgive them right now. I'll release that to you. I'm not going to dwell on it any more. And he said the most amazing thing begin to happen. His crippled hands begin to open up week after week. One finger would get better and the next week this finger was normal. And as time went on, his hands eventually just were totally and completely normal. He can use them just like you and I could today.
The point I'm making is when we go against what we know is right, we hold on to bitterness, unforgiveness, anger. All we're doing is opening up the door to sickness and disease. And I believe some of you would see your whole situation turn around if you just do what you know down in here you're supposed to do, whether it's apologize to somebody or not live so stressed out or treat a person better, whatever it is, I believe, you know, down in here, listen to your conscience.
You may be here today and you need to start dealing with some. You start confronting some people in your life, maybe there's a person that's always trying to control you and manipulate you and, you know, down in here, it's not right. But you're letting it go on month after month and it's stealing your joy. You're not happy. It's dragging you down. But you think, you know what? It's just not worth it. I don't even want to deal with the headache.
But no, the longer you put it off, the more difficult it's going to be. And if you just take that step of faith in God's timing, he will give you the supernatural strength that you need. We say, Joel, how do I know when it's really God's timing? It's God's timing when he's dealing with you about it, when it's coming up on the inside. And I believe even right now, God is bringing areas to light, maybe something you've been pushing down, maybe an area you need to change, something you've been putting off.
And I'm asking you to start being willing to do something about it. Stop putting off the apologies you need to make. Stop putting off the little jobs around the home and the office that need to be done. And don't procrastinate when it comes to your health and taking care of the body that God's given you. I have a friend that we used to play basketball quite a bit, and several years ago he was telling me how for month after month something down in here kept saying to him, Go get a checkup.
And here he was as healthy as can be, not a problem in the world. But still, he said down in here he knew he should go visit a doctor and get a checkup. In the natural, though, didn't seem like any reason to do it. Life was good. You know how it is when you're healthy. Last thing you do is think about going to the doctor. And he told how he just kept pushing it down month after month.
But he would go to bed at night almost feeling condemned because he knew down in here he should go get that checkup. Want to make a long story short. Unfortunately, one day his health started going downhill. He lost a bunch of weight. We didn't see him up at the gym for some time. And when he finally returned, we learned how he had been diagnosed with a very serious illness. And of course, we're praying for him. We're believing it's going to change.
But he told me something so interesting. He said, Joel, when I went to see the doctor, the first thing he said to me was, man, I wish you'd have got here several years ago. We would have had so much better of a chance to deal with this. See, he knew in his heart what he should do. God was speaking to him right down in here. He just chose not to do it. And I don't want to say that to bring fear of any kind.
I'm simply saying when we know what's right, but we just keep putting it off, we're always going to miss out on God's best. And yes, I believe in healing. Yes, I know God can take care of us, but I know also God expects us to do our part. And I consider myself very healthy. I'm a young man. But do you know, every two years ago and I have a full physical. That's what I feel good about.
I'm not telling you to do it, but I know when I don't do it, I feel uneasy on the inside. My conscience is not clear. Something down in here, says Joel. That's not right. You need to take that precaution. And I don't do it just for myself. I do it for my wife. I do it for my children and understand I don't like doing it. There are a thousand things I'd rather be doing, but I know when I don't do it.
Like I said, there's an unrest on the inside. Like you said, Joe, I thought you were a man of faith. I thought you believed in healing. Yes, I believe in healing. But I also believe that if we'll take care of ourselves, we may not need to be healed. And I would rather live a healthy lifestyle than to have to try to get healed all the time. And even though I know that God can take care of us, I know also that God has given us all common sense.
And the truth is God uses his doctors, he uses medicines, he uses some of these new techniques to either prevent an illness or to begin that healing process. And, you know, practically every doctor will tell you if you catch something early on, it's a whole lot easier to deal with it than if you let it go for year after year. And especially you ladies. You know how important it is to have that regular checkup and you may be busy.
There may be a lot going on in your life, but you need to make that a priority. What I'm saying to you today is quit putting off what you know in your heart is the right thing to do. Some of you are always putting off spending time with your family. You're so busy, you work all the time. Your attitude is one day and will slow down and enjoy these children that God has given me. Or one day I will take that trip and go visit my parents who are getting up there in age.
One day I will call that loved one. Then I've really been thinking about no, stop putting that off. Take time for the people you love. You don't really know how long they're going to be there. I know even with my father, we never dreamed that he was going to go so quickly. I thank God that I spent time with him. I can honestly say that I don't have any regrets, but don't put that stuff all I know.
One time a man came up to me in the front lobby and he was just sobbing. He was probably in his early fifties and somehow he had gotten at odds with his parents. They had done something that had offended him and. So for several years, he wouldn't have anything to do with them. He was holding on to that unforgiveness, harboring that bitterness on the inside, and he said something down in here, told him it wasn't right. He knew on the inside he should just let it go, be the bigger person, forgive him, overlook their fault.
But no, he wouldn't do it. He was hard headed and his attitude was, one day I'll make things right. But right now I'm going to show them. Well, unfortunately, one day never came. His father had a massive stroke and instantly he was gone and now he was sob and he was having to deal with all the guilt and shame you can imagine. If he had to do it again, he wouldn't have put it all. He wouldn't have been so hard headed.
And we have to understand, when people do us wrong, God expects us to be the bigger person. God expects us to be the ones to let it go. You've got to do whatever you possibly can to keep the peace in your family. Life is too short to go around holding a grudge. It's too short to hold on to that. Anger and unforgiveness and bitterness stop putting off forgiving the people that have done you wrong and stop putting off spending time with the people that you love.
So often we take people for granted. Well, Joel, I am going to go see my parents when it slows down at the office or when my kids get through with baseball or when I get a little bit more money. But, you know, the scripture says in Ecclesiastes, if you wait for all the conditions to be just right, you'll never get off a dead center. That's saying that there probably will never be a perfect time to do what God has put in your heart.
You've got to make a decision that you're just going to put your foot down and do it anyway and don't miss opportunities to be good to people. I'm convinced that God is always putting things in our heart that we can do for others, be sensitive and don't put that off. For instance, maybe God leads you to give somebody a little money or to buy somebodies dinner. Well, just do it. Don't overanalyze it. Well, God, I think I need the money more than they do.
Is this really you got to better pray about this for a couple of weeks now. That's an excuse with you so often. But what I happen is a couple of weeks go by and you'll forget all about it. God will have already met that person's need through somebody else. And you'll have missed out on that opportunity to be a blessing. I know so many times down in here, somebody's name comes up and I just know I should go call him and encourage him.
I feel so strongly about it, but I'm in the middle of watching. The ballgame is the fourth quarter, man. I can't go in there. I can't go write myself a note. I might miss something. How many times have I known what I should do? And I've said, Dear God, I'm to do that later. Maybe I'll call them tomorrow, or maybe even I'll invite them out to eat dinner next week. I had good intentions, but you know as well as I do things get busy.
We've got other things to deal with and we end up missing out on. So in that seed for a blessing, I've learned. Now when that comes up, I've got to do it right. Then I can't get them on the phone. I'll leave a message on my voicemail. The office has one of my assistants. Hey, send these guys in. No, let them know we're thinking of them. See if there's anything we can do to help friends.
We miss so many opportunities to be good to people simply because we procrastinate. And if every one of us would do what God has put in our heart for others, you can imagine what kind of world this place would be. Let me ask you, what are you putting off today? What areas is God dealing with you in? Are you putting off being good to people? Are you putting off taking steps to break that addiction? I know people that are always putting off being happy.
Their attitude is one day and we'll start enjoying my life. You all as soon as I get out of these problems, then I'm will be happy or as soon as I get that promotion, as soon as I retire, as soon as I get married, then I'm going to really enjoy my life. No, let me challenge you to start enjoying your life right where you are. Things may not be perfect. You may not have all the money that you want.
Your kids may not all be making straight A's. You need to get up and say with the song, David, this is the day the Lord has made and I'm going to enjoy Prince. You got to learn to bloom right where you're playing. I love what the apostle Paul said. He said, I have learned how to be content in every situation. That means you've got to quit looking at what's wrong in your life and start looking at what's right.
You need to quit complaining about what you don't have and let's start thanking God for what you do here. And every day that you live negative and unhappy is a day that you've wasted. And what a shame to waste what God has given us. Why don't you make a decision before you leave today that you're not going to live another minute being down and discouraged, stop putting off your happiness and start enjoying your life. It's a decision that you can make.
Some people are always putting off making peace with God. I can't think of any area worse to procrastinate in than this area. People tell me all the time, Joel. I know. I need to get back in charge, I know I need to start living right, making better choices, resisting this temptation, it's just not the right time. But one day you're going to see me in there. People tell me as soon as I break all these addictions, as soon as I get rid of these bad habits, then I'll be there.
But really, you've got it backwards. You've got to come to God just as you are, and he'll help you get your life cleaned up. Really, I don't believe that you can break those addictions without God's help. Well, you said I'd get back in charge, but somebody in the church hurt me going up, man. That pastor, he did our family wrong. Now you got to get your eyes off of people. People will let you down.
People will fail you. Listen, I'm only human. I may disappoint you. I hope not. But I can tell you this. God will never disappoint you. He'll never let you down. And the only way this is going to be ultimately happy in life is by making peace with the creator of the universe. The trick of the enemy is to tell you do it tomorrow. You can do it some other time. You can do it after you get out of college.
Man, these are your party years. Do it later. Now, don't believe those lies. The scripture says today is the day of salvation. Today is the day we need to make changes in our life. I heard a little fictitious story about these three demons, and they were about to graduate from their training. They were taking their final exams. And so Satan came to the first one and he said, what are you going to do to deceive people?
And he said, Satan, I'm going to tell people that there's not a God. It's just a big thing that somebody made a Satan, shook his head and said, you're not going to have much success. Everybody's going to believe that there's a God. He went to the next one and he asked him, what's going to be your strategy to deceive. He said, Satan, I'm going to tell people that there's no heaven, there's no hell.
This life is all there is. Satan again shook his head, said, you're not going to have much of an impact. Everybody's going to know there's more than just this line. He went to the third one a little bit disgusted and he said, what's going to be your strategy to deceive? He said, Satan, I'm going to tell people that there's no hurry. They can do it later. Yes, God is real. Yes, he's a good God.
He's got a good plan. But you can make the decision some other time. Satan smiled and said, you, my friend, are going to deceive millions. See, the trick of the enemy is to have us put it off. God, I'll clean up my life tomorrow. God, I'll forgive that person next week. God will take that step of faith when it's a little more convenient. Oh, don't fall into that trap. The Scripture says now faith is God is a God of the now.
And whatever area he may be dealing with you in, do it right then. That's the only way you're going to experience his abundant life. And some of you today may wonder why you're not as happy as you should be. You know, you should be more fulfilled. Well, it may be simply because you're not doing what you know you should be doing down in here. You keep pushing down what God is bringing up and God will not force us to live in victory.
He's given us all our own free will. We have to choose. And it's not a one time choice. Every day you've got to choose to listen to your conscience, to be good to people, to resist that temptation. It's an ongoing process. I can tell you, human nature always wants to put it all, do it later. That's what the story is all about there. In the book of Hajjah in Chapter one, God had spoken to these people about building the temple.
But in verse two of chapter one, the people said the time has not yet come for the Lord's House to be rebuilt, even though Sirus had ordered it sixteen years earlier. Notice sixteen years before God told them to do it. But they're still saying it's not the right time. We'll do it later. God, we're just too busy. When they first put that off, I don't really believe they ever planned on putting it off for sixteen years, but it just kept growing.
Well, this is not a good year. It's not convenient. The next year rolled around. Now let's don't do it this year, man. I got too much going on. That's what we do so many times. We'll take care of it next month, but not right now. The next month rolls around. Oh yeah. God, I'm going to deal with that. But let me do it a little bit later. And too often, just like these people, we look up and we put something off for a year, for five years, even ten years.
These people put it off for sixteen years and notice what happens when we procrastinate. The Prophet Hejaz said in verse six, You have so much, but you have reaped little. You have earned your wages, but you're putting them in a bag with holes in it, he said in verse five, you need to consider your ways if you're not happy today and you're working all the time, but you can't seem to get on top, you can't seem to get ahead, you need to consider your ways.
When we put off what we know we should be doing, it's just like we're trying to fill up a bag that's got holes in it. The point of this story is do what God tells you to do right? Then don't make excuses. Don't. For a more convenient time, just do it. I don't know, maybe you procrastinate in those small areas, like I mentioned, you know, cleaning your house, mowing the lawn, you go around condemned.
You'll make changes today. It's no use living like that. Just do it in your heart. You know, you're supposed to forgive somebody, quit contemplating it, quit reasoning it all out and just do it. If you know, you need to get on that exercise program, quit making excuses and just do it. Really, that's a good phrase. We ought to always remember when God speaks to our heart, when we know it right down in here, in our conscience, our attitude should be, God, I'm going to just do it and remember good intentions, planning on doing it like these people.
That's not obedience. You've got to do it right then. I believe even now, God's speaking to some of you about areas you've been putting off. And I don't want any of you to take it as condemnation. That's God trying to take you to a higher level. And if you just do your part today and be quick to obey and don't fall into the procrastination trap, then you won't have a bag with holes in it. I'm gonna do his part.
He'll pull out his blessings in favor and you'll experience the abundant life he has in store.
Hey, man, we never like to close our broadcast without giving you an opportunity to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
Would you pray with me? Just say, Lord Jesus, our repent of my sins come into my heart and make you my Lord and Savior friends. If you prayed that simple prayer, we believe you got born again. Get in a good Bible based church. Keep God first place. He's going to take your places that you've never dreamed.
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