What are some things that require commitment? A marriage? A work-out routine? School work? Spiritual discipline?
What does God want from us in the way we worship or live our faith? Is he happy with half-heartedness or mere attendance? What does God consider a healthy spiritual life? What are the consequences of picking and choosing our commitment to God?
The simple answer is that God does not want our second best or mere outward attendance. He’s not happy if we pick and choose the spiritual things that we want to do but leave out the others that we don’t feel like doing. God doesn’t tell us what is good for our soul and then not care if we do it or not. God doesn’t leave Bible study or Christian encouragement and support as options.
But how does God want us to commit? Can we decide that we will do better at a later time? Is a promise to find time when things aren’t so busy God-pleasing? Is God happy with a hit-or-miss attitude?
Our attitudes and actions are important to God. He is not happy if our hearts are not focused on his will. He is not content if our actions do not reflect what our spirit desires.
That’s why commitment is so important. Commitment may require a steep price, but a heart that desires to do God’s will is willing to pay the price and not skimp on the extras. And that’s exactly what our Savior did for us.
When God promised that mankind would die and be put out of his presence because of sin, he carried through on what he said. When God declared that he loved his creation, you and me as human beings, he paid the price to buy us back from our sins and disobedience. Jesus acted on his love by sacrificing everything that he had, the very fact that he was God and unable to die demanded that he become human and give up his majesty and power. The writer to the Hebrews (Chapter 10) tells us about Christ’s sincere love for us, that he was commited to our salvation by the actions he took in carrying out God’s will. “First he [Christ] said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them’ (although the law required them to be made). 9 Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Jesus didn’t leave us to our own desires, either. He sent his messengers to direct us to what is God-pleasing and what is beneficial in our spiritual life. Jude tells us that in verses 20-25, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-- hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”
What is just as amazing as the love that God displayed by sending his Son is that he forgives our disobedience and lack of commitment. He isn’t interested in rubbing our disobedience in our face, he asks for a change of direction. Not only does he tell us what is good for our souls, but he blesses us for following his will. God speaks to his people in Malachi, chapter 3, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
How many times have you witnessed good intentions be set aside after a month or less? Don’t let your worship or your giving of support be another poor commitment. God promises blessings in your life as you live what God has made you. He has redeemed your soul and made you his own dear child. He has forgiven your half-hearted worship and less than sacrificial giving. He now promises to bless your faith through Bible study and Christian fellowship. He promises to do great things with the gifts that you bring in service to his church. We have a God who is committed to us. Let our lives reflect that same commitment.