Take a moment and think about some things that scare you – things all you need to do is just half-way consider thinking about and you become fearful and terrified. This is the direction my mind went when I read how Governor Felix responded to Paul in Acts 24.
In this chapter, Paul has been accused of stirring up riots all over the world, of being a ringleader of a cult of Nazarenes and desecrating the Temple. Felix and his wife Drusilla want to hear from Paul, and verse 25 says, “As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened.”
And he should be frightened, for that is what happens when people are faced with the truth they know they are not living. But that isn’t the part that is frightening. What Felix says next should cause us all to pause and be a little scared. Felix says, “Go away. When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.”
Those five words — “When it is more convenient” — may be some of the most terrifying words in all of Scripture. Why? Because putting God first in our life is never convenient. What we mean when we say “When it is more convenient” is we’ll fit God into our schedule when it suits us, not when it suits Him. The Voice translation of verse 25 says, “When I have time, I will send for you again.” I cannot help but wonder how many times and in how many different way we’ve all said to God, “When I have time, I will send for you again.”
We may say we are a Christian, a follower of Christ because He died for our sins and saved us from the penalty of death. We may say He is our Lord and we’ll do as He commands, but in reality there are many times we use God at our convenience and fit Him into our schedule when it suits us. We may have to find time for God because He’s not really our God—He’s an idol we put on the shelf, give a nod to as we pass through the room where we keep Him, and every once in a while make a big deal of bringing Him out and showing Him to our friends, like on Christmas and Easter or when the kids are in a church musical. Or worse. Once a week on Sundays….
But I don’t want to be like Felix and say to God, “Go away for now. And when it is more convenient and I have the time, I’ll call for you again.” For the frightening fact is this: I don’t really know if I’ll even have another “again.” I have no guarantee of any more tomorrows, much less a more convenient time to sincerely make God my true Lord and Savior. I want NOW to be the time for God to be the true Lord of my life. And I pray you do, too.