Committing Ourselves to God
Committing ourselves to God in a world where so many seem to be giving up on Him is difficult at best. We look around and question ourselves wondering if we are on the wrong side of the fence. We see friends, family members, and acquaintances that don’t spend time reflecting on God. So our sense of commitment to God is challenged. And the very fact that our commitment is challenged, causes further doubt. We feel there is a thin line between continuing on with God or walking away from God, a line that at any moment will break. It becomes easier and easier for us to succumb to the thought of just dropping our effort and walking away. It is this very situation though that presents the most significant choice that we must make in our lives. It is this very choice that determines our destiny during our time in this place and the place where eternity exists. We will always continue to struggle with the basic choice of believing or not believing.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter–this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
All of us at some point in our lives have found it easy to say, “I believe” without taking up the cross. Maybe we’re like Peter; the one who said He would stand firm with His commitment to Christ only to have the rooster crow three times. We say we believe, but we know deep down we are not conducting our lives in a way Jesus calls us to be. We attend our place of worship then we walk out the door; as if we are leaving God behind.
After attending church on a regular basis and doing nothing to glorify God, we eventually realize that we are not on the path we are meant to be. We finally begin to realize that we have found a false contentment in making no choice. At some point in our lives we need to truly commit to accept Him, or deny Him totally and find contentment derived by ignoring Him in this life. The most dangerous alternative though is when we take comfort in making no decision at all, as if it is an acceptable choice given by God. Playing the middle of the road is a trap many people fall into because it becomes a comfortable substitute for a true relationship with Christ. We go through the motions, we feel good about ourselves, but the fire does not exist. We find ourselves walking on the thin rope, and below us is the abyss of others who have given up on God.
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
When we realize the middle of the road is not for us, then we need to ask ourselves, “What does it mean to have a solid and unbreakable commitment to Christ?” We need to know the answer to this question so that we do not become confused and discouraged. So how do we have our faith elevated to the level which allows us to remain firm in our conviction towards God? One of the ways we do this is through a commitment to understanding. To commit ourselves to Christ does not mean giving up the life we have today, it does not mean we need to move to a cloister or become a foreign missionary. It does, however, mean we are to seek out the answers to our questions that will lead us to stay on the path with Christ.
The more we understand God’s call upon us, the more our commitment to Him is elevated. I have found this concept true in many parts of my life including hobbies, relationships, and jobs. As an analytical person by nature, my wife, Jean, sometimes finds this trait a bit of an annoyance. When Jean asks me a question, I occasionally need to ask her in return “Why are you asking me this?” I don’t do this to be difficult; I do this because if I do not clearly understand the reason for the question, how can I provide a good answer? My analytical nature may have come about by working with computer software for over 25 years. As part of my duties as a computer programmer, I would be asked to program software. To make sure I understood the task, I would always ask the person, “Why do you want it to work this way?” I have discovered that when I understand the background of the task, my commitment is elevated and I am able to complete the task in a shorter period of time. This approach is more enjoyable for me than a haphazard approach.
Raising my commitment through understanding not only works in computer software, but is also true in other areas of our lives as well. While I was attending a horse riding lesson, the trainer asked to me walk the horse around the barn area for five minutes before placing him back into the stall. I could have just accepted what he had requested of me and followed his instructions; however, I needed to understand the reason behind his request so I asked the trainer why the horse needed to be walked around. He explained to me that when a horse is hot after a workout, they need to be walked around to cool down. If the horse is placed in a stall before cooling down, the horse could suffer an injury called Laminitis or Founder. Inside a horse’s hoof is a structural component called a Frog. As the horse walks and places pressure on the Frog, it compresses and causes blood to be pushed through the horse’s circulatory system, and as the horse lifts its leg to prepare for the next step, weight is released from the leg and the Frog returns to normal size. The Frog works very similar to how a heart works.
Because I dedicated some of my time to understand the reason behind the request to walk the horse around the barn, my commitment to the horse’s safety became more important to me. And truth be told, I sensed the trainer enjoyed answering the question. I was his student, I engaged him, not out of disrespect, not to challenge his command to me, but my question derived from a curious mind. And Jesus is our teacher; He does not see our questions towards Him as disrespectful, they are joyful questions in the eyes of Jesus. Jesus delights in teaching us. An engaged student is one that is well prepared for their future.
The purpose of our lives and what God calls us to do must make sense to each of us so that we can be truly committed to Him. It is okay to desire answers to our questions. Our journey with Christ is made up of our constant desire to resolve questions that reflects our continued effort to grow our commitment. Instead of just seeing God’s message on a piece of paper or hearing His words at a Sunday service, we need to seek the truth from the words as they relate to our lives so that our eyes will be opened to who God is and the promise He has made to each of us. Jesus once said, “Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (Luke 8:10)” In this very brief sentence Christ opened the mysteries of heaven to us. He is offering to answer our questions when we go to Him out of love.
We must accept Christ with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our strength. Christ never promised the journey with Him will be easy, but He did promise that the place He is preparing for us is the most wonderful gift we can imagine. Christ invites us to commit ourselves to Him, and in return we receive eternal life and a stronger faith. The good news is that each of us can grow our faith in God and still enjoy our life here on earth with the joy and anticipation that someday He will call us home to be with Him. We need to challenge ourselves to ask questions, to reflect on God’s Word, and seek to understand how it relates to our lives so that we find encouragement each day to stay close to Him. We must not allow our attention to be overwhelmed with other matters such as politics, personal financial issues, family relationships, future worries, economic problems, and moral issues. We must instead trust in God to take care of those matters and spend more time to the one who deserves it the most.
Dear Father God,
I know I am seeking the easy path. I want to just give you one-hour of my time a week and walk away with the thought that is all I have to do. However, I now realize that one-hour is not strong enough. I seem to barely find enough strength to get through the week. I realize I must dedicate time towards you in my life, especially as this world seems to be placing more demands upon my time.
Please help me, please give me the strength and courage to set aside just a small portion of my week and reflect on you, to reflect enough so that my understanding of you is elevated. Through this my commitment towards you will be elevated, my faith will begin to solidify, and I will find it easier and more encouraged to grow in you.
In Jesus’ name I pray.