The Challenge of Commitment

Any accomplishment requires commitment. There is no substitute for dedication and determination in pursuit of a goal. The star athlete spends hours and hours improving his physical body and sharpening his responses. A successful professional engineer has spent years of study and labor building her knowledge and refining her skills in pursuit of a career. The sage Christian is the product of years and years of study, prayer, worship and service. All of these people have one characteristics in common: they are committed.

I think of Noah who spent over a century doing exactly what God told him to do. His commitment proved worthwhile as the oddly shaped Ark began to float above the destroying waters of the flood (Genesis 6-9).

I think of Abraham who was so dedicated to God that he was willing to offer his own son as a sacrifice until his hand was stayed by God’s directive (Genesis 22). His commitment was rewarded in untold blessings given him by God. Even today he is honored by all of the world’s monotheistic faiths.

I think of the determination of Nehemiah who was determined to rebuild the walls of his beloved Jerusalem. In the face of near constant opposition he worked with one hand on his sword while he directed the reconstruction. His commitment was rewarded when he watched the people gather for the reading of the law in the restored city in front of one of the rebuilt gates (Nehemiah 8:1).

And what of Jesus? His commitment to his sole purpose was unwavering. Faced with looming torture and death and with the power of escape in his hands, Jesus would not depart from his commitment to serve his Father (John 12:27). It was his purpose to come and die and he would not shirk that duty.

In our life our future is not always so clear. We wonder what lies ahead. “What can I do?” we ask. “I’m not that important. I don’t know that much.” Therein lies the problem. When we fail to take responsibility and are unwilling to commit, we will not become successful. God’s great people were guided by and blessed by God but only when they were obedient to him. None of the them, except Jesus, knew the full outcome of their work. But their dedication remained in spite of their lack of knowledge. It was Queen Esther who was staggered by the danger of her duty to her people. But her uncle Mordecai uttered those powerful words” “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

We do not know precisely what God has planned for us. We have no clear knowledge of what the future holds. But our small view of ourselves is not the same view that God holds. He sees a far grander picture of our future. Only by renewing our commitment to him daily can we expect the great things that he has in store for us.

Step forward now and renew that dedication, restore your determination and restate your commitment to the cause of Christ. God needs great laborers in the field and he is calling you.

The late Dr. Dowell Flatt once added a note to a course syllabus for a difficult course. I’ve forgotten the exact wording but it said something like this: God has plenty of grass in his kingdom. What he really needs now are some really tall oak trees. I think his saying rings true today. We need great men and woman to serve the Lord.

Will you stand for Christ today? Will you offer your life to God and let him use you in unimaginable ways? He needs, he calls. Will you answer?

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