So what's your excuse?
When you're standing in the pouring rain and your life is being called out, what is it that keeps you from stopping your sin right then, right there? What kind of weather are you waiting for?
Listen, we all do it. Most of us do it more than once. Our lives come to this point where we know that the way that we're living is no longer sustainable, and yet, we can't make a different choice. We don't try something different. We convince ourselves that what we really need is to continue doing our broken thing just a little bit longer until the weather is better and the ground a little bit more stable, and then, we'll quit.
The old joke is absolutely accurate. What's the most popular day to start a diet? Tomorrow.
Addicts do this when they are trying to quit. Their life is falling apart, their job is hanging by a thread, their family is already halfway out the door and they know that they have to stop using whatever substance it is that's led them here. But at the same time, all of the stress of having all of these big changes just hanging over their head convinces them that they still need that substance until all of this settles down.
But it doesn't settle down; it blows up. The whole thing explodes. The whole fragile network that exists right there on the edge of getting your life back shatters and then, well, what's the point? Might as well keep drinking or smoking or toking now. It's all done for.
Persons trying to get away from pornography decide that they're going to watch one more time, for old times' sake, and then that will be it. But then that one time triggers a memory of another time that they have to revisit, which triggers a memory of another time...and before they know it, right on the edge of getting out, they get sucked right back in.
Have you ever known a gambler who put money on their ability to stop?
We just keep doing this to ourselves. We get right to the edge of finally breaking our chains, of getting out of our bad habits, of stopping our sin, and we have all of these things that convince us that now is just not the time. Today is not the day. The circumstances aren't quite right. The weather just isn't favorable.
How soaking wet do you have to be to realize that when your sin is catching up to you, it's already raining?
The men in Ezra's time stood outside all day in the pouring rain to listen to how terrible their sin was and to be convicted of the ways in which it was putting not only their lives, but the community of Israel, in jeopardy. How it was hurting them. How it was keeping them from God's best for them. How it was breaching the covenant that they had with Him. And sometime in the afternoon, it comes down that there's only one way forward from here, and that was for them to stop living in their sin. And all of a sudden, the men of Israel all look up and like hey, wait, whoa. That sounds good and everything, but not right now. Right now, it's raining.
Brothers, you are already soaked. What in heaven's name is five more minutes, or five more hours for that matter, to do one righteous thing? To make one good choice? To turn yourselves back toward God?
If you don't want to do it right now because you might get wet, it just doesn't make sense. At this point in the journey, all we'd have to do is throw a little shampoo on your head and at least your hair would be clean.
What about your heart?
So what's your excuse? What are you waiting for? What kind of weather would you find favorable to stop sinning when, my friend, it's already pouring in your life?
What are you afraid will happen if you take five more minutes, five more seconds, five more breaths right now to do one righteous thing? To make one good choice? To turn yourself back toward God?