“And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.” – 1 Kings 8:61.
Most people reading this have probably made some radical commitments. Some of you have been in the military where you offered years of your life to your country. There was even the risk of sacrificing your life for your country. Every parent is radically committed to their children. Every marriage represents a radical commitment. Most couples don’t want an ordinary, boring, routine relationship. They want excitement, fun, closeness, love. Facing the complexities of commitment with the wisdom of God will challenge every married couple.
We can find some insight from Solomon. First Kings chapter 8 records the dedication prayer of the house of the Lord. Solomon turns and then prays a blessing over the people of Israel. In verses 56-57 he is telling the people to remember God’s faithfulness. He is the one who brought them out of Egypt, He gave them the Promised land, and He is the one that protected them from their enemies. Then Solomon prayed that God would remain with his people (v. 57). Second, he prayed that God would guide their hearts towards God and they would walk in obedience (v.58). And thirdly, he prayed that God would remain faithful so that the nations would learn of God (v.59-60). At the beginning of the prayer, he reminded them of how God has been faithful to them, now he is telling them to be faithful and committed to God. (v.61).
Jesus shows us what it means to live a life filled with a radical commitment. Jesus was committed to go where He was not wanted. Jesus was committed to suffer for a people who rejected Him. Jesus was committed to die for a lost world. Jesus was committed to the ultimate victory. What Christ has done for us, what Christ does in us, what Christ will do for us—all these should motivate us to commit our lives to Him.
Jesus talked about the cost of commitment: “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24). Total commitment to God means that Jesus is our sole authority, our guiding light, and our unerring compass. It means having a servant mentality and loving others. Philippians 1:21 sums it all up: ”For to me, living means living for Christ…”
May God inspire and empower us to make a radical commitment to God.
- What has your failure to stay committed to something taught you about commitment?
- What does it mean to be committed to Christ?