With all your kicking and rebelling, you will have to go where you were originally ordered to go; you might as well go at first—you will go with better grace; you will go with your master’s comfortable presence; but you will have to go one way or another. Many men have found this true. They have struggled against duty, and perhaps, year after year they have drawn back from it, finding miserable excuses for their consciences; but they never prospered in business, they could not get on in the world, they had trouble on trouble, and at last it came to this, they had to go back to the very place where they were ten or twenty years ago, and there they discharged the duty which they had been so long seeking to avoid, which had proved a burdensome stone unto them until they were rid of it by yielding to its demands. Now, my dear brother, do not play the Jonah, for you will have to pay the fare of it. If you know your duty, do it. I may be speaking very pointedly to some of you. ‘I should have to sever the bonds of many a fond connection.’ Do it for Christ’s sake. ‘I should have to leave the camp and go outside of it, take up a very heavy cross, and bear Christ’s reproach.’ You may as well do it now as by and by, for you will have to do it. ‘But,’ says one, ‘this business of mine—I have nothing left to live upon; I feel it is a bad business, but I do not like to give it up just yet.’ You will have to do so sooner or later, you may as well do it now, before, like Jonah, you have had to pay for your wit; remember that ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and a good understanding have all they that keep his commandments.’
For meditation: Delayed obedience to God includes an initial period of disobedience. Better late than never (Matthew 21:28–32), but instant obedience is the best course of action (Psalm 119:60).
‘He claims my will, that I may prove How swift obedience answers love.’