George Gallup reports that less than 10 % of Americans are deeply committed Christians. These committed Christians are far, far happier than the rest of the population. Committed Christians are more accepting of others than the average American, more involved in charitable activities, and are absolutely committed to prayer.
The unfortunate part is that, while many more Americans than this 10 % profess to be Christians, most actually know little or nothing of Christian beliefs, and act no differently than non-Christians. Overall, the Sunday School and religious education system in this country is not working.
Our Lord speaks clearly in Scripture, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will act” (Psalm 37:5), “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Proverbs 16:3), and yet we find ways to fall short of that calling in little ways every day.
When it comes to worship we use excuses, “I’ve got company,” It’s too cold outside,” “I need a Sunday off.” When it comes to serving others we do the same, “I don’t have time,” “I’m too old,” “I don’t know how.” Too often our commitment to the Lord takes a back seat to our worldly desires.
And its easy to do. The world demands much of our time and the devil’s whispers convince us to spend more and more of this special commodity on ourselves. Before we know it, our time is taken up with lesser things and our commitment to God has suffered to the point that we only make time for Him on Sundays when we have nothing better to do.
God through Paul to His student Timothy gives us His advice saying, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). He says this because He knows that there will be temptations for us to give our commitment to lesser things at the cost of our commitment to God.
When this happens, it affects our faith in such a way that we separate ourselves from God and His promises more and more. Left to go too long and our commitment to God will eventually vanish to the point that the lesser gods of the world take prominence in our lives.
Instead, we are to take on the commitment of people like Paul, who gave up his old ways to embrace His commitment to Christ. It is he who said in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” This after leaving all he knew to follow a person of who’s people he was a chief persecutor of.
Paul and the other Apostles gave up everything to follow Christ. In the end all but one gave their life for their faith. Only John lived to a ripe old age but even he faced persecution throughout his life because of His commitment to the Lord.
And their modal for this complete commitment was none other than Christ Himself who, despite knowing what lie ahead of Him on the cross said to His Father, “Not my will but Yours be done.” Christ showed His commitment to His Father through persecution, doubt, ridicule, torture and death. He kept His eye set like flint on the cross because of the promise it held for all who would place their hope and trust in Him. He will be forever the greatest example of commitment to a cause.
Yet the Gallup Poll says that less than 10% of people are deeply committed Christians. Much like the Israelites, we take for granted all that God has done to win us to Him. Just like they, we have decided to live life our own way by making ourselves supreme.
What a blessing, then, that we have a God who never gives up on us. He still sends His people to lead us onto the right path even though our eyes lead us in other directions. He still loves us enough to keep trying despite our ignorance of Him coupled with our superficial faith. All this love was proven when He finally sent His Son to do what we refused to do. May the lessons from this cause us to commit to Him finally and forever.
Are you counted among the committed? If you find yourself lacking, repent and find your place among the dedicated. Prove yourself worthy by committing your whole heart, mind, body and soul to the one who gave you life. Trust in Him to lead you to greener pastures. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, increase in us a true faith to follow you no matter the cost. Help us to depend on you for all things and keep our commitment to You true. Amen.