India were desperate to dismiss Australian Captain Tim Paine in the evening of the third day of the Perth Test (Dec 2018). A caught-behind appeal was turned down in the final over of the day. India did not review. But that’s when Kohli walked upto his Aussie counterpart and started talking. He talked about Paine loudly to his team-mates: “If he messes us, it’s 2-0”. Kohli referred to India’s lead of 1-0 at that point following a hard-found win over Australia in Adelaide. That’s when Paine retorted: “You’ve got to bat first, big head!” And when India batted the following day – Day 4 – chasing 287 on an unpredicable pitch, they folded, fumbled, fizzled-out and failed. Taking the 2-0 lead – well, that did not happen. India fell 140 odd short of the target and scoreline became 1-1. Even Kohli, arguably the world’s best batsmen failed in the second innings, after scoring a superb hundred in the first.
This incident reminds me the wise words we read about in Proverbs (a Bible book): “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring!” (Prov. 27:1). Eugene Peterson put the same verse this way: “Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow; you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow!” Some young people speak like Kohli did on the third day in the Perth Test. They say, “Tomorrow I will repent!”. They say, “Only today, I will watch this porn site. From tomorrow onwards I will be holy!” So on and so forth. That’s being foolish. Now is the time to come to Jesus in repentance (Luke 13:1-5). The Spirit of God may not keep speaking to you (Gen. 6:3). When the Spirit stops speaking, you wont want to repent. Sudden death may come like it did for in the case of Prince Absalom when you are dreaming about what you do in the future. James warns against boasting about what you will do tomorrow, precisely warning about the real possiblitity of sudden death using the mist that quickly disappears analogy (James 4:13-14). After death there is no chance of salvation (Heb. 9:27). After Jesus returns unannounced – like a theif in the night – it will be too late to repent (I Thess. 5:2). So do not talk about what you do tomorrow. Some people say this: “When I get older, then I will obey God’s call and become a missionary!” When you get older, even lavotory journey would become tedious – what missionary journey can you do then (check Eccl. 12 for problems of the old age)?! Now, is the time to let it rip for Jesus. I was 31 years of age when I founded the Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission and was 34 years when I quit my job with the HSBC group to rejoin fulltime ministry to work fulltime with the organistation I started. I am glad to have had the joy of giving the best years of my youth in the service of Jesus. It is a priceless feeling. When I became sick at the age of 44 (recently because of a curable-with-tablets kidney stone), that feeling came powerfully back: “Now, you are no longer a youth, Duke, who can eat what you want because ‘a youth’s stomach can even digest a stone’ (as they say when they keep serving food, post the meetings you get to preach in)! What a joy to have been serving Jesus even before all these old-age related problems set in!”
Don’t boast about what you do tomorrow. Do it now. Live for Jesus. Now.
(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. Find out more at www.dukev.org).