Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
We all have a tendency to delay doing any difficult task, but we do without delay those things in which we delight. Because of this truth, let today’s word encourage you to do both—the difficult and the delightful—without delay.
We can glean much in this regard from the lives of two of the central figures of the Old Testament: Abraham and David. When God called Abraham to offer up His only son Isaac, as inconceivably difficult as that must have been, Abraham did not delay in responding obediently.
God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. (Genesis 22:1-3)
In the end, as you know, God spared Isaac by providing a sacrifice in his place, providing a clear and lovely picture of the substitutionary atonement that was accomplished for us at the cross of Christ. When God called David into His service through Jesse’s request to bring provisions to David’s brothers out on the battlefield, David did not delay in responding obediently.
David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. (1 Samuel 17:20)
David did not hesitate to go where God had called him, and God used David to defeat the giant Goliath and deliver the entire Israelite army from the hands of the Philistines. In today’s verse we read that Jesus got up early because He delighted to be in communion with His heavenly Father. Jesus provides the model for all that we delight in doing, but don’t forget Abraham and David, the models for all that we find difficult to do. To be sure, both tasks were difficult—unimaginably so in Abraham’s case—but both tasks were done without delay. The point is that Abraham, David, and Jesus all rose early to get on with the business of their Lord, and this is what God has called us to do in both the difficult and the delightful.
Someone famously quipped, “Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” It’s not that funny; some people actually live that way! Think about the last time you delayed in doing the difficult. Did it not negatively affect everything else you were doing? We should dread the day when we delay the difficult! I hope you’ll allow today’s word to encourage you to rise early and do without delay—both that in which you delight and that which you find difficult.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!