“…and the people never fully committed themselves
to follow the God of their ancestors..” 2 Chronicles 20:33
I love the picture that goes with this post. It perfectly represents the difference between involvement and true commitment. So, what do you think about when you think of being involved versus being committed to God? (Is that a squirm-worthy question, or what? LOL!) Do you think of attending church? Or does the image of Mother Theresa, or a monk living in solitude come to mind? And where does your life fall on that broad spectrum? Simply believing? Attending church occasionally? Praying regularly? Adding a devotional or scripture reading to your daily prayers? What about making a daily appointment with God to spend 15 minutes praying, reading your Bible and seeking to know Him more personally? Or, maybe you have serious questions about God, or you feel your faith in God is solid so you have no need to attend church? Maybe you feel like church is just a bunch of hypocrites who are going to judge you? (I've definitely been there!) Obviously, there is a very broad range of "commitment"; any degree of which looks good to someone on the outside and feels like you are honestly seeking to know God at your own personal level. Of course, God honors and is pleased with those who seek Him at any level, and He blesses those who diligently seek Him, with a close, intimate, personal love-relationship unlike anything else this world has to offer.
Recently, someone told me, “If it doesn’t affect my personal salvation, it doesn’t really concern me.” So, are we only supposed to seek a personal relationship with God and leave the rest of the world to the ministers and missionaries? Please don’t mistake my meaning…I am a huge proponent of seeking a close, personal love-relationship with God above all else. It is truly the most important and fulfilling relationship you can ever have. But that is not where it ends.
Jesus came into the world to save it…the whole world…and it is God’s desire that every person would know Him, believe in Him, and accept and experience His love. Toward that end, He gave us the Bible as a road map to know Him better. The Bible may have been written by men, but it is God-breathed – His living, enduring Word – and is a testimony of His amazing love for us that exceeds all of our hopes and dreams.
So, what does knowing God look like for you? Are you in it for your own peace and comfort, happy in the confidence that you will make it to Heaven one day? Or are you all-in…offering your life to Him to use in accordance with His plan; letting His Holy Spirit guide you and live through you to touch the world around you? Whatever your level of commitment, trust God to lead you to live as He designed you to live. Don’t start feeling like you have to “fake it ‘til you make it.” Just seek Him, rest in Him and trust Him to lead you into what He wants you to do; but try to remain open and ready to respond, just in case He prompts you to speak to someone about His love. You never know…that person in front of you may be longing for someone to explain Jesus to them in a way they will understand, but they would never be caught dead in a church.
Spoiler alert: The people whose lives you touch with God’s truth here, will become your greatest treasures in Heaven! As for me...I'm all in...!
"Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—" Psalm 119:2
"The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him..." Lamentations 3:25
"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander."
1 Peter 3:15-16
“’Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’” Matthew 22:36-40
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20