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03 November, 2012

Commitment To The Faith



 
In my book "Apprehended & Apprehending" I have a small chapter about commitment. The reason commitment is so important to me and I felt I had to include it in the book is because while I had no idea what it meant to walk in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit was hard at work in the background to help me come up higher. I realize He has never let me be satisfied with my own explanations of the Word of God in the Bible. Pushing people to not be satisfied with data tucked away while living in the flesh, makes knowing someone like me, a little bit annoying if you like your comfort zone. It is harder if you are an immediate member of my family. But, in my defense, I have no idea how to live the Christian life any other way because the Holy Spirit targeted me right at the onset of Salvation.  (Although I suspect He targets all of us) I shared almost throughout every chapter of my book how He called me to come up higher over and over again. Since I talked about it at length, I will refrain from going into more details.

You see, while some professed Christians are busy separating Salvation, discipleship commitment and grace to excuse their behaviors God showed me they are all one in the same according to His standards at work in us. I was surprised to find out that Christ’s call to us in Mathew 16:24 “to take up our cross and follow” actually meant “make the commitment, come up higher, live like you have a Master and surrender to me at any cost.”  Later on, I was more surprised to find out that not only this is Salvation being worked out in me, but the strength to do all these above were in Him,  through His grace alone.  This walk, the Holy Spirit was constantly working in the background to get me to question what I understood only in the flesh, in order to get to the point where I would make the commitment to follow and step into my discipleship role. Indeed, making the commitment to Him to let Him be the Master of your life it is not an easy thing to do. When you make this commitment you know what you have done is in effect what all the other disciples in the Bible did as they left everything behind and follow Christ on the onset of His ministry. The commitment to follow Him, if it is done with the right understanding, attitude, motive and with the Holy Spirit makes you realize that you are aware you found something that deserve your full attention. You feel, there is a Master in town now, and you have to go with Him to hear what He has to say. Like Paul turning his back away from his honourable position with Gamael, like Peter leaving his lucrative fishing business behind, like Matthew the tax collector who left his booth and lucrative business to follow and so forth.  

Just in case you are wondering what I mean in the paragraph above when I said the right attitude, motivation and understanding it is about understanding we have to do it knowing even though it will hurt but it has to be done. We know this mean we will lose complete control over our lives and we are no longer in charge. It means going forward with His plans, not ours. It means we will have to be broken and the self has to be eradicated etc. The end result will mean fellowship, oneness, pride left behind to embrace humility, deeper worship and love for Him and so forth.

Being compelled to go forward is a work of the Holy Spirit in us. It is a work of grace and there is no way left on our own we would understand the need to go forward with Him. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how all of it relates to each other. Through receiving Him I received the light. If I receive the light and I am no longer the “old me”, then I need to learn how to live the new life. While the Church put together discipleship classes and preaching the Word to get us to understand this new life, but it is my duty to hear His call to come up higher. When we go forward to become His disciple, all we are doing is making a commitment to study with the Master. Why do we need to study with the Master? Because not only He needs us to accept our position as His pupil, He also needs our total commitment so that He can make real in us the work He has started, meaning Salvation.

So, God’s call and wooing to come up higher along with Christ giving us a choice to take up our cross and follow Him, plus we have Romans 12:1 where Paul told us to surrender ourselves to Him, are all the same. Meaning same goal, same purpose and all of it is wrapped up in a commitment to this life through His grace. When you live according to His standards, all of it is there in black and white, there is no need to hold a debate. Everything we have in this Christian walk build on each other. The whole thing is like building a foundation for a house where Christ is the builder and He is putting the materials needed together to build this house. While this house starts with Salvation entering our hearts and souls, but we cannot separate it from the builder and the materials needed to erect the house.

This post was meant to be Sunday’s post. But this morning in my quiet time with Him I read Oswald Chambers, I knew this was not a coincidence and that I had to switch the post. So, instead of ending with a prayer, I will end with copying Oswald Chambers devotion for you.


Keep in mind that the second chapter of my book which is about commitment to this life is available for you to download for free. Go to my website


Here is Oswald Chambers today's devotion

These words mean the breaking and collapse of my independence brought about by my own hands, and the surrendering of my life to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus. No one can do this for me, I must do it myself. God may bring me up to this point three hundred and sixty-five times a year, but He cannot push me through it. It means breaking the hard outer layer of my individual independence from God, and the liberating of myself and my nature into oneness with Him; not following my own ideas, but choosing absolute loyalty to Jesus. Once I am at that point, there is no possibility of misunderstanding. Very few of us know anything about loyalty to Christ or understand what He meant when He said, “. . . for My sake” (Matthew 5:11). That is what makes a strong saint.
Has that breaking of my independence come? All the rest is religious fraud. The one point to decide is— will I give up? Will I surrender to Jesus Christ, placing no conditions whatsoever as to how the brokenness will come? I must be broken from my own understanding of myself. When I reach that point, immediately the reality of the supernatural identification with Jesus Christ takes place. And the witness of the Spirit of God is unmistakable— “I have been crucified with Christ . . . .”
The passion of Christianity comes from deliberately signing away my own rights and becoming a bondservant of Jesus Christ. Until I do that, I will not begin to be a saint.
One student a year who hears God’s call would be sufficient for God to have called the Bible Training College into existence. This college has no value as an organization, not even academically. Its sole value for existence is for God to help Himself to lives. Will we allow Him to help Himself to us, or are we more concerned with our own ideas of what we are going to be?