We all have commitments—to family, school, work, church, neighbors, social clubs, and so on. And we’re living at a time when our regular commitments have been widely interrupted.
For example, you’re committed to your church, and yet most of us—perhaps all of us—just celebrated Easter at home, because we’re all under quarantine.
As a result, we’re all rethinking those commitments, too.
Although commitment is not a requirement to be born again, it is part of discipleship and to growing to spiritual maturity. As Christians, you should be committed:
Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established (Prov 16:3).
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass (Ps 37:5).
Commitment to God is important, but as Major Ian Thomas explained, it’s possible for believers to make a subtle error about commitment.
Using Abraham as his example, Thomas explained that Abraham’s fundamental mistake was he was committed to the wrong thing. How is that possible?
Abraham committed himself to the will of God, instead of to God whose will it was, and in his misguided zeal tried to do God’s work man’s way! He felt that it was up to him and to Sarai to help God out of His predicament, for Sarai was old and had never borne, for she was barren—so they had a committee meeting! After all, God had said that Abraham was to have a son, and if this was God’s will, and he was committed to God’s will—a son he must have, at any price! (Thomas, The Mystery of Godliness, 19).
When you commit yourself to a rule, instead of to the Ruler, you risk trying to fulfill the rule in your own strength (even if that wasn’t the Ruler’s purpose). At that point, you’ve turned God’s promise to you into a law that you must fulfill for Him. A grace-based relationship turns into a works-based relationship.
What’s the alternative?
According to Thomas, you can commit yourself to a Person.
Here’s the principle: if God has promised to do something, it’s not up to you to try and do it for Him. When you commit yourself to a Person, instead of to a rule, you wait for that Person to fulfill His promise.
That is, you depend upon Him to do it.
Depending on the Promiser to do as He has promised means having a faith-based relationship with God.
Abraham didn’t depend on God. And what was the result? Major Thomas explained: “Ishmael was the by-product of a false commitment; conceived in sincerity, he was the devil’s reasonable alternative to faith!” (Thomas, The Mystery of Godliness, 20).
If you don’t depend on God’s perfect timing for your Isaac, what you’ll produce is an Ishmael instead.
Being committed to God does not mean having a legalistic relationship to Him. It means being committed to the Person of Jesus—that is, it means depending upon Him and His Promises. At a time when we’re all rethinking our commitments, are you totally depending on Jesus?