“We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.”
John 9:4, NLT
To be quick means that we move very fast; being slow often implies a reluctance or a mental delay. To hesitate while doing God’s will for us suggests a degree of ignorance or stubbornness. Our quickness is to be seen while doing “the tasks assigned to us.”
Urgency should be woven into our hearts. We need to have wings on our feet, a fleetness and an alacrity. A “double-eagerness” as we carry out His work. It should be of no surprise that God sets before us an itinerary of work He wants us to do.
So many brothers and sisters sleepwalk through their salvation. They snooze when Jesus desires they “watch and pray” with Him.
Jesus was on a timetable. He communicated a need of doing. He is in tune with the work of God, and is involved in the urgency of his present moment. Jesus knows this, and he clearly communicates the need to do. We are not called to be manic for Jesus; we are expected to be alert and aware.
This is a cry for urgency to his disciples.
“The night is coming.” It is getting late. In response Jesus issues an order. Work at what the Father has assigned you. It is almost dark now. There is a “principle of spiritual velocity” calling us to an alertness and an awareness of needful things to do before “the time is up.”
In Acts 9 the disciples show a holy zeal in their day’s work. “We can’t stop speaking what we have seen and heard.” The Old Testament prophets carried this urgency–Jeremiah and Amos both declared to us this avidity placed on the believer. Jesus desires that we factor in this concentrated awareness of the approaching night.
I recently read of an evangelist in the last century. He had a watch made, and on the dial he had a picture of a setting sun. And over it, the words, “the night comes.” Everytime he would look at his watch he would be reminded of the shortness of life and the need of the performance of his duty. That lesson should be transmitted to each zealous believer.
The key word I guess, in all of this, is zeal. And often the older we get the more this word becomes diminished, and distant. (I believe our Father understands this about us.) No matter what we do, He focuses His love on us. There will never be a condemnation on us. But we can still waste away our lives in a tragic way, which we will later regret.
But we have to ask ourselves this, will I just be an admirer, or can I become a zealous disciple of Christ?