Last weekend at The Gathering we talked about the importance commitment. Basically the things we commit to define our lives. But once we make a commitment, that commitment makes us, for to fail to commit is indeed to commit to fail. The problem I believe, in our culture, is not that we fear commitment, it is that we commit to too many things, too many things that are good, but not the best. The truth of the matter is, our lives are cluttered with lesser commitments. We are constantly pulled in many different directions. We have many things that we care about but few things that we truly love or are willing to lay down our lives for.
For example, as a Christian who says, “I’ve committed my life to Jesus Christ,” that commitment has been made by millions and millions of well-meaning people. Let’s be honest, if we were all committed to following Jesus Christ, committed to the principles that He taught and the life that He lived, if we lived like Jesus lived and love like Jesus loved, driven by the power of our commitment, wouldn’t the world be better than it is? I submit it’s not the fact that we aren’t committed, it’s that we’re committed in the abstract. In other words, when I go to church on Sunday and have an amazing experience of worship, an environment of love and acceptance, and where I hear a relevant message, how do I make that commitment practical? In other words, how do I move from a commitment in the abstract to a commitment in the concrete?
Let me give you four practical ways to move to commitment in the concrete. In other words actually living out the heart of the relationship that Christ-followers have, an intimacy, that ability to cast all our cares on Him, to ask anything in His name knowing that we shall have it, knowing that all things that come to us (good or bad) are being worked together in concert for our good. Of all these amazing promises, one of the most amazing is when the Scriptures say, “Commit whatever you do to the Lord and your plans will succeed.” What a promise! How do you make that commitment concrete?
Here are four ways to move to commitment in the concrete:
1. Giving God the first thoughts of everyday. When you open your eyes in the morning, what’s the first thing that floods your heart: fear or faith? Thoughts of how good it is to be alive and how good God is going to be in that day, or thoughts of lack, scarcity, and worry? Fill your first thoughts every day with thoughts about God.
2. Giving God the first day of each week. We were made to rest on one day and in that day to worship God. Find someplace that stirs your heart, pulls you in, sets you free, and makes you want to be the man or woman you know God wants you to be.
3. Giving God the first part of all my wealth. That wealth isn’t just money, but it’s my time, skill, talent. The standard in the Old Testament was the tithe. The standard in the New Testament is joyful giving, based on the tithe, which means my money, my time, my talent all need to be tithed and dedicated in practical ways to God each week.
4. Giving God the first consideration in every decision. God wants to lead you. He said, “Commit whatever you do to the Lord and your plans will succeed.” He said, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you all the desires of your heart.”
Claim these promises. Make your commitments in the concrete this week, right now. It will change your life.