When I originally thought about this rhetorical question, I figured it could apply to any step of obedience. And I guess it could. Whenever God tells you to do something, you should do it immediately. If you don’t, you’ll suffer. Maybe the effects won’t show up right away. But it won’t end well.
If God tells you to break up with the person you’re dating, you should do it immediately. If you don’t, the relationship will get worse and worse. So will the condition of your soul. And if/when you come around and obey God (end the relationship), you’ll see his purpose revealed in time. (Not always right away. Be patient.) When it’s all said and done and the raw emotion goes away, you’ll wonder: “Why did I waste all that time being miserable and thinking I was smarter than God? Why didn’t I do it sooner?”
If God tells you to step out in faith and attempt something great for Him, his blessings are sure to follow. But if you spend 3 or 4 or 30 or 40 years fighting against God and excusing your complacent lifestyle, you’ll feel a strange wall of separation between you and God. And you’ll miss great opportunities (you won’t realize you’re missing them. That’s part of the tragedy). If you eventually quit making excuses and do what God tells you, He will show up in new ways in your life. The adventure will blow your mind.
And you’ll wonder: “What was I so afraid of? Where was my faith in God? Why didn’t I do it sooner? This is awesome!” But I think this question applies more in one area than any other. James 5:16
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. When there is a sin in your life, you should confess it immediately. First to God, then to another trusted believer. When you do, something strange happens. Surprisingly, God isn’t surprised. He isn’t shocked or appalled. He doesn’t say “Are you kidding? That’s really wild. Hey angels, come check this out. Here’s one we haven’t heard before. This guy is really screwed up!” And usually, when you confess your sin to another Christian who you trust entirely (I cannot stress the importance of them being responsible and confidential) they aren’t freaked out either. Chances are, they’ve struggled with the same thing. Or something worse. And when you confess and repent (change direction), cleansing begins.
Weight is lifted.
You can breathe easier.
You can pray again.
The Bible has meaning for the first time in a long time.
Your body doesn’t feel so tired.
People don’t seem out to get you anymore.
You can sleep at night and feel rested in the morning.
The refreshing of the Holy Spirit makes the risk of embarrassment worthwhile. What do you need to get out of your system today?
Is there a sin you’re hiding or a burden you’re carrying? God already knows.
Chances are, the people close to you can sense it to. Why not go ahead and confess?
Do it before the sun goes down. You won’t regret it.
The only thing you’ll regret is that it took you so long to set yourself free.