Sunday, December 4, 2011
The 10-second rule
Growing up my mother would always say, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today - I think it had something to do with schoolwork I was falling behind on or something like that.
I believe we are addicted to procrastination in a lot of areas of our lives. This also affects our Christian lives and the claims of Christ and the wonderful privilege we have of the leading of His spirit. I believe this procrastination leads to ineffectiveness. When we disobey God's will and intention for our lives it can produce real consequences in the big decisions we make. It can also create just as many undesirable results when it comes to the little things that could be happening in our every day lives. I read this Blog post and loved it. It's called the 10-second rule and it challenged me and I hope it challenges you as well.
(It’s a simple rule for a revolutionary life!)
What does it actually mean to follow Jesus? Simply put, it means to believe Jesus’ message and obey it. So, why is it we don’t obey more often than we do?
Years ago I noticed that during the course of my day I’d have an impression from the Holy Spirit to do something I was reasonably certain Jesus wanted me to do. It would be an impression to either do something good for someone or refrain from doing something wrong. It might be to stop for a car broken down on the highway, speak to a co-worker about Jesus, or simply turn off my computer before I ended up at a site where no Christian should go.
Almost simultaneously I would sense another voice whispering to discourage me. “You don’t have time to do that – helping that person could get messy – you can’t afford to help them right now – stand up for your rights – you deserve it – it’s okay, once more won’t kill you.” If I listened to this other voice and thought about it long enough, the moment for obedience would pass, often to my relief. It finally dawned on me that by procrastinating on being obedient to Jesus, I was unintentionally teaching myself the habit of disobedience. Why is that?
Why did I hesitate? Because I knew that most decisions to obey would cost me something – time, money, embarrassment, inconvenience, or a momentary pleasure denied. By choosing not to obey Jesus, I avoided all of that! So the reason I wasn’t more obedient to God? Without hardly thinking about it, I automatically counted the cost and the price seemed too high for me.
Then a decade ago a lay pastor from China taught me a simple rule that could break that cycle:
The 10 Second Rule:
“Just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do.”
(and do it immediately before you change your mind!)
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
So, I intentionally committed myself to become more sensitive to the leading of God, and to practising simple, spontaneous obedience. As I did, I began developing the habit of obedience. I actually began looking for ways to follow Jesus daily, even hourly. As a result, obedience became an adventure rather than a duty.
Christian experience over the centuries has proven that godly character is most powerfully shaped by the cumulative effect of thousands of small obedient decisions. And these small decisions prepare us to be even more faithful when major, crisis-of-faith challenges come our way.
Here is the true power behind The 10 Second Rule: Even though every Christian knows we can never obey Jesus perfectly all of the time, that’s no longer an excuse. We do know this: we can do the next thing we’re reasonably certain Jesus wants us to do.
This is obedience you can do – obedience you’ll want to do!
The point of doing The Rule is to help you develop the habit of simple obedience so you are prepared to be more faithful to Jesus than you ever imagined you could!
My prayer is that try living by The Rule for the next 30 days. See for yourself how deeply satisfying it is to be led by Jesus, moment by moment and day by day.
(or even in the next 10 seconds!)
Clare De Graaf
Author of, The 10 Second Rule™