Commitment. It's This New Thing…It's This Old Thing.

13 02 2009

 

Old-Skool Hardcore Commitment

Old-Skool Hardcore Commitment

So I was listening to the Bible today (I’m a big fan of the “Daily Audio Bible” podcast…the reader, Brian, is awesome and so on fire for God.  He’s got a hippy-dippy voice so not created for radio, but he’s doing his thang-thang for God and that’s amazing and powerful and God’s definitely taking his loaves and fishes and working miracles from it, and that is truly inspiring…but I digress.)  

 

So I’m listening to the Bible today, and thinking about those ancient times.  Times so distant to us that a lot of the cultural references and thoughts are so foreign to us, that we can’t really get in there, mentally.  We can only associate ideologically or really, more in a strictly historically academic sense.  So I am thinking about these things…And then I think about commitment.  I consider myself committed to Christ.  What does that mean? 

Speaking of Christian film, I used to consider that commitment to be something like “would I die for my faith?”  And the answer has almost always been a definite and resounding “Yes!”  But I wonder if that’s the easiest part.  Because we KNOW that.  We KNOW our hope is justified and we KNOW that upon death, we’re going to be received into heaven, which is going to be better by infinite measure, the best we could ever imagine here on earth, under the most ideal situations…  So then, what is the true measure of commitment?  

I’ve been thinking that it more resembles a structure of that past.  (Although, now that I think about while writing, perhaps there are analogs in the current military…)  My point is I’m thinking about a soldier.  A soldier in a religious state, where the leader has the honor and power that comes from being considered holy and chosen by God.  That undying and single-minded commitment to go forth and do whatever your lord commands, because your lord was chosen by THE Lord.  

So what does that mean?  It means that if that monarch decided that the neighbor you lived next to your entire life was now an enemy of the state, that you would kill that person, without question.  If even a family member was considered the enemy, you would be expected (and you would, due to your fealty) to strike down that person in the name of the King.

Do I have THAT sort of commitment?  Can I even perceive that sort of commitment?  Do I have absolutely ANYTHING I can relate that to?  I don’t think so.  I cannot point to any other thing in my life (or my world) that has that kind of true commitment.  Because, quite honestly, nothing else in life deserves that sort of commitment.  Nothing is more sacred in this world, than my family.  So nothing could come between that for me.

But God…see, God is something entirely different.  He has purchased me.  I am a willing slave to his will, because he has offered me eternal life, at the fee of my following him AT ALL COSTS here on Earth.

Now, I know…some people are probably reading this thinking “okay, OD’s off to the loony bin, and thinking about living on some communal compound somewhere and mixing up a fresh batch of Kool-Aid…but I assure you that this is not my thinking at all.  In fact, just to make sure you know this isn’t all my own concoction, being far from God’s will…allow me to reference some of God’s own words regarding this stuff: 

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.”- Jesus (Luke 14:26) 

“Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”  (Matthew 8:21-22)

Consider Abraham being asked to sacrifice his own son, Isaac.  And Abraham going so far as to raise the knife!  God demands this kind of devotion.  This kind of single-minded, totally sold out commitment that is absolutely CRAZY by the world’s standards!

What set it off, was me hearing someone talk about someone who they loved who currently was walking away from Christ.  And that this person hoped they could be used by God in their return to a life with Christ.   And I was thinking, of course, that’s the desire, but if that person chose not to follow, ultimately…  Then that person is not acting outside of God’s purvey.  That person is not acting outside of God’s control.  (God allows their own choice, of course…I’m not saying God desires people to be against him.  I’m simply saying that it’s the way things fall, and that’s life on Earth.  And God is not blind to what’s going on.)  While it saddens him, that person is now his enemy.  No, I’m not to kill that person, or do ANYTHING but love that person (I’m commanded to love my neighbor, without qualification.)

But my point is, that instead of being saddened by that person’s choice, I should instead take joy in the peace of knowing that God is in control, regardless of my viewpoint.  That God is in a position of “The Big Picture” whereas I’m mashed up in the way back, as well as knowing I’m short.  So I don’t see very far.  So who am I to say that this wasn’t God’s will?  Perhaps that person will come to Christ when I’ll never, ever know it.  Does that diminish God’s plan, that I didn’t get to see it?  Or even given the opposite, that this person NEVER accepts Christ.  Does this weaken God?  Does this make him less in control, or less worthy of my total devotion?

Of course not!  So given that, I simply wondered if my role in Christ should be only to serve.  To serve gladly, knowing that my LORD is holy and chosen by God (because he IS God) and that what he says is my command, and my only duty in life.  That there is no greater honor than to serve Him.  That there is no way my limited perspective can ever even come close to comparing with God’s infinite eyes.  That my infantile grasp of his plan is incomprehensible compared to the breadth and depth of the actual plan in place.  That my part is insignificant as far as any power or glory to myself, but that my honor is great, due to my playing any part whatsoever.

Anyway, I simply think, after all of this thinking, that perhaps I need to rethink my commitment, and realize that God demands not part of me…not most of me, not like 99.99% of me.  But ALL of me.  And that any hesitation to do so on my part?  In heaven?  That’s going to look like the most bone-headed move in history!  Because I have this amazing opportunity to be hand-picked by the creator of our universe, to play a unique role in his kingdom.  And I’m wavering?  No.  I don’t want to be that person.  I want to be sold out for Christ.  I want to be known as the guy who would do ANYTHING for my God.  I pray God would grant me the strength and conviction to honor this desire and truly be that committed.  How about you?  This is the cost of following him.  Are you willing to give that?  To give absolutely EVERYTHING?  It’s absolutely insane by the world’s view, but we’re not living for the world, are we?  We’re living for God, who asks us for it all.

 Think about it.

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