Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry


By Jeannette Haley

Inconveniences are just part of life no matter how much time, money, and energy we expend trying to eradicate them from our own personal environment. Let’s face it, we all love having things convenient for our use whether it’s indoors or out. When you think about the details of your daily life, you begin to understand how much inconveniences, however small they may be, are an intrusion into your plans, purposes, and progress. The truth is, much of what we imagined would make life less hectic and inconvenient has actually made things more complicated and worse.

There is no indication in Scripture that before the fall that Adam and Eve had challenges with inconveniences. After all, everything they had need of, such as fresh food and water were within easy reach, for the Lord God had given them a paradise to live in that included friendly, interesting and entertaining animals, fowls and fish. Sublime simplicity. God also gave Adam one responsibility, to dress and keep the garden, and one commandment to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Even though this command was in no way an “inconvenience” physically, perhaps just the fact that he was told not to eat of it gnawed at him mentally. Maybe we could even say that one commandment was a huge “inconvenience” because he had a heart problem. (See Job 31:33.)  

Interestingly, according to Sam Kneller the Biblical Hebrew verbs to “dress” and to “keep” the garden mean to “worship” and to “serve.” Others contend that Adam was to “guard” the garden, which we all know he failed to do. Since none of us were there, all we can do is speculate if guarding the garden (and protecting Eve too) was “inconvenient” for Adam. 

Regardless of the cause, we all resent to some degree or another the inconveniences caused by certain modern “conveniences” and complicated, time-consuming, invasive technologies, all of which have been touted as “time-saving” marvels to “help” us “save time” and live better. The truth is, people are so caught up with technology they rarely have time for Bible study, prayer, meditation (on the Word), or time for family devotions around the table where parents instruct their children in the ways of God. This intrusion of mesmerizing and addictive technology that the whole human race is being pushed into has very dangerous implications which discerning Christians realize. Now that we’re all dependent, either personally, or as a society, upon the “convenience” of powerful and often invasive technologies, we, as Christians, truly need to wake up to the times in which we live, and prayerfully consider what influences us the most— “convenient inventions” or the “inconvenient truth” of the Word of God! Which one has the most influence and is of utmost importance in our lives? Which one will we sacrifice in order to gain the other? Beyond the incredible power to condition and brainwash millions of people at the same time through non-stop streaming media, powerful evil forces that have connived to rule the earth for centuries are in a final “no holds barred” fight to gain total control through propaganda and lies. (For your study: lists 100 Scriptures referring to the antichrist).  

In daily life, inconveniences can rob us of time and energy as interruptions, irritations, loss of control or an out-of-order environment persist. When it comes to the Lord, how many of us are always prepared to listen to Him and obey Him when He “inconveniently” intrudes into our life? For example, consider the story of Moses, when the LORD suddenly appeared to him in the burning bush, talked to him about the plight of His people in Egypt, and said, “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt” Exodus 3:10. Moses was totally unprepared for such an intrusion into his life as a shepherd on the “backside” of the desert. After all, he was well established there, and had a wife and children, plus he was 80 years old. Therefore, he replied to God, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (verse 11). As we read on, we see that even though Moses had his excuses, we all know how that went for him. Nobody can win an argument with the Lord.

Even though a person may sense God’s call upon their life, or even though a Christian may be considering “going into the ministry,” nevertheless, when God suddenly intrudes into their lives with the command to “Follow me” it can come as a great inconvenience. The truth is, God calls busy people, not those who are sitting on a rock waiting for Him to come “zap” them, or lounging on some beach waiting for Jesus to find them all rested up, nicely tanned and ready to go. 

Joseph wasn’t prepared to be sold by his brothers to slave traders going down into Egypt, but God had a plan for him no matter how suddenly inconvenient it was for the young man. David wasn’t in a convenient place or position when God told Samuel that David was to be anointed as king. Elisha wasn’t thinking about the inconvenience of leaving everything behind as he plowed his field the day that Elijah came by and called him as a prophet. Naaman the Syrian wasn’t happy about the inconvenience of going to the Jordan River and dipping into it seven times, but he obeyed anyway and was healed. The Shulamite woman didn’t want to be inconvenienced by rising up in the night to open to her love; Jonah was greatly inconvenienced when a worm ate the gourd that provided shade for him, and Esther was inconvenienced when she had to risk her life in order to plead for the lives of her people, yet she declared, “If I perish, I perish.”. Inconveniences are part of every life, regardless of who we are or where we live. Remember, the disciples were busy with their occupations when Jesus called them to follow Him, and they did so regardless of personal inconvenience. (See Genesis 37; 1 Samuel 16:1-23; 1 Kings 19:19-21; 2 Kings 5; Song of Solomon 5:1-6; Esther 4:15, 16; Jonah 4:4-11; Esther 4-6; Matthew 4:119-22.) 

There’s not a single soul living on this planet who has never been inconvenienced by something, or someone, on a daily basis. It’s just part of the human experience, and so much so that I think if I had a ship or sailing vessel, I’d call it “Inconvenience.” Anyone who has ever owned a boat of any kind would probably nod their head and snicker in agreement. On a more serious note, what has tragically become the biggest inconvenience in much of our so-called “civilized” society are children, and evidence of that is on display everywhere. Another sad fact is that the attitude of so many nowadays towards hard work, a job, or any responsibility whatsoever is too great an inconvenience to bear because such things take time and energy away from their “fun-seeking self-life.”

Indeed, God’s interruptions can often prove to be a great inconvenience to both saint and sinner alike. Consider what Felix, a Roman procurator of Judea said to the Apostle Paul after he heard him concerning the faith in Christ. “And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time: when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee” Acts 24:25. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) There is no record of Felix ever having a “convenient season” to come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Sadly, Felix is not an isolated case. Today individual Christians, church leaders, and even whole denominations, when challenged by the clear warnings and commandments in the Word of God concerning holy living, obedience to Christ, and separation from the world, turn a blind eye and a deaf ear because it’s just too “inconvenient” to deny themselves the right to their life on their terms. Anything that intrudes into their perceived “comfort zones” that may pose a challenge to their way of thinking, doing and being is an inconvenience they’re not willing to bear. To such Jesus is saying to you, as He said to the church of Laodicea, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” 

The bottom line is, how inconvenienced would the organized church system be if directly challenged, on any given Sunday morning, by an “Apostle Paul” or an “Apostle Peter” or an “Apostle John?” What would happen if a “Jude” or a “James” stood up and preached from those two epistles? What would the inspired writers of the New Testament say to our version of Christianity today? Would they soften the inspired Scriptures to make them more “convenient” to the hearers? I daresay, that the fire and fury would bring forth a twofold response—either repent, or run out the door. 

Beloved, Jesus did not come to make our lives “convenient.” He did not call people to Himself for the purpose of making coddled and self-serving people “happy” or “rich” or for any other carnal or worldly reason. The bottom line is, He is the Light of the world who came to reconcile sinners to God, seek the lost, and give Himself for all, including the ungodly who despise and reject Him. Jesus proclaimed who He was and what He came to do when He stood up in the synagogue in Nazareth and read from Isaiah 61 these words, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” Luke 4:18, 19. 

How natural it is for humankind to wait until “a more convenient time” to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, or to bring ourselves under His “yoke” through humble obedience. The truth is as long as we’re living in this flesh there will never be a “convenient time.” But God says, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” 2 Corinthians 6:2b. Notice how God uses the words “acceptable time.” God’s “acceptable” times will never pay homage to our “convenient times.” Finally, let this sink down into the depths of your heart: it was not “convenient” for Jesus to go to the cross, but He submitted to the Father’s will in an “acceptable” time. That, my friends, is our example.

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The Goal of Gentle Shepherd Ministries is to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make disciples in compliance with the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19).

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