The Big C: Commitment

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The covenant we make to follow Jesus is to deny ourself and walk away from the world. We can do nothing less than give Him our complete allegiance and obedience.

There are many who would gladly receive the benefits of salvation if only they could keep their own lives too. Interestingly, most realize there is a forsaking that must be done to follow God, and they’re not ready to pay the price.

Consider this: A young man is dating a young woman. She’s attractive, healthy, organized, a gourmet cook, great with children, and—best of all—has a delightful personality. He creates a special moment, kneels down on one knee, opens a small box to reveal a sparkling diamond ring, and proposes to her.

The young woman excitedly responds, “Yes! Yes! Yes! This is the happiest day of my life!” She looks into his eyes and passionately promises, “I’ll be the best wife, create a beautiful home, keep it spotless, make delicious meals for you, stay healthy, dress fashionably, and make beautiful love to you anytime you desire.” She then makes one more attention-grabbing statement, “Of course there are other boys I still like, so I may date them periodically.” Stunned, the young man stammers, “That’s not going to work!”

In hopes of bringing resolution, she pleads, “Honey, I do love you; in fact, I’m crazy about you. But I simply can’t be a one-man woman. I sincerely desire to be loyal to you, and I know it’s the proper thing to walk away from all other relationships, but let’s be real. There are so many great guys and I love their attention. Why can’t I have both?”

The young man’s heard enough. “This is preposterous. We’re not getting married. In fact, I’m through dating you.”

Why isn’t he agreeing to her terms? Of course the answer is obvious: she isn’t giving him her entire heart and life. She knows it would be the right thing to do, and on some level desires it; but the reality is that she’s too attached to other guys. It’s one thing to desire; it’s another thing to actually do.

No healthy man would ever marry a girl like this, so why would we believe Jesus is coming for a bride who acts the same way? Let’s look at His words:

Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
Mark 8:34–35 ESV

Notice that Jesus didn’t say, “Whoever desires to lose his life for My sake will save it.” Just desiring to lose your life isn’t enough. It’s no different than the girl in the proposal story.

To enter a covenant relationship with the most wonderful Person in the universe, you have to give yourself fully to Him. Perhaps this is why James writes:

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.
James 4:4 NLT

This is a core part of a true relationship with God. An adulterer is one who has a covenant with one person, yet in violation of the covenant seeks out a relationship with another.

The covenant we make to follow Jesus is to deny our self and walk away from the world. We can do nothing less than give Him our complete allegiance and obedience. This means we embrace His will and desires over our own. In exchange for giving Him our lives, we in turn get His life. This is like a healthy marriage between a man and woman. Are you fully committed to Him?

 

 

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