Think of a time where you had to devote a serious amount of commitment to something. Maybe that something was a sport, a club, a school organization, work, or even a hobby. Whatever that something was, I’m sure you committed to that certain thing for a reason. Maybe you enjoyed it, or maybe you just needed to be committed to it based upon your life circumstances at that time. Regardless, you still were deeply involved in that activity, and it, in some way, molded you. Comparatively, this idea of “commitment” is the next destination in The Journey: commitment.
Before talking about commitment, there needs to be a clear definition of the word laid out as a foundation. So, commitment is dedication to some activity or engagement. Commitment is having your mind set on a specific activity or engagement in your life. Commitment is what Christ requires of us after His gracious revelation in our lives.
Following revelation, the next destination in The Journey is commitment. During my journey, immediately following the revelation I had received by God through His Spirit about His Son, my next step to take was truly commiting to Christ: completely denying my everything, in order that He may become my everything. The requirement after receiving revelation was to be all in for Christ, and for His glory alone. So, what does this look like?
Being all in for Jesus looks like three things. Firstly, being all in for Christ looks like surrendering everything to and for Him. It is impossible to follow Christ when you refuse to deny yourself, and your own personal desires. Putting yourself before the true King is completely wrong, and is the opposite of how a disciple should follow Christ; rather, humility is the answer. Only through Spirit given humility can you even hope to enter through the “narrow door” (Luke 13:24 ESV). The Spirit will draw you to humility, and humility will reveal itself in your daily surrendering and the taking up of your cross. Practically, this may look like giving up different things in your own life.
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”Luke 9:23-24 ESV
Secondly, being all in for Christ looks like never looking back; but rather, looking forward only to His glory. Throughout Jesus’ time on earth, He makes clear that those who follow Him must be prepared to be dedicated to Him and not look back. Personally, this was something difficult for me at first. I had to come to the understanding that God’s grace was exceedingly more than enough for my past, present, and even future failures. Jesus’ propitiating (appeasing God’s wrath for our sinfulness) death atoned not just for my sin as a whole, but “for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2 ESV). Because of this absolute truth, the disciple no longer has to live in shame. Jesus conquered that, and now, His Spirit compels us to live for Him and for His glory.
“As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”Luke 9:57-62 ESV
Thirdly, but most certainly not lastly, being all in for Jesus looks like caring about the same things He cares about. In other words, being all in for Jesus means to live just like Him. Think about it. A student learns from a teacher in order that they may become more and more like the teacher. Whether that be in knowledge, daily living, or whatever other category, the point remains the same: the student grows into the image of the teacher. Likewise, this is exactly what happens when we are committed to following Christ. We, through the Spirit, spend time reading His Word, engage in intimate prayer to the Father, bear good fruit, we serve others, we care for the souls of the lost, we love, we take part in an active community of believers (church), and the list could go on. All of these things can be summed up as this: being all in for Jesus means living like Jesus.
“Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”1 John 2:4-6 ESV
On my journey, I had to be committed to Christ, and still absolutely have to be. Beginning this process involved surrendering myself, which was shown through giving up different sinful activities in my life, never looking back, and seeking to become more and more like Him every single day through spending intentional time with Him in His Word, in prayer, and in an active community of believers. Following Christ is a difficult and challenging commitment. However, He has not called us to walk individually; rather, He has created a body set apart for Him, and for the building up of one another. In fact, this is exactly what the next part of The Journey will talk about: community.
- What are some things you need to be surrendering to Christ on a daily basis?
- Are you looking forward past your failures and into the grace of Christ? How has His extended grace restructured your life?
- In what ways are you living like Jesus? In what ways are you not?
- Have you committed to Christ?