How would you rate your commitment to your relationship with God? Let’s be honest, it usually isn’t steady. We have times of closeness with God and times of distance. Our commitment goes up and down. It can change with circumstances or even our mood. Today, I want to look at 3 parts of our commitment to a relationship with God. Yes, I know there are more than 3 parts. However, I just want to focus on these 3 for now:
1. What commitment looks like
2. Beliefs about our relationship with God
3. The connection between trust and commitment
So let’s get started…
We have all kinds of things to which we would like to commit. Maybe it’s praying or reading the Bible every day. Perhaps you want to eat a healthy diet or exercise 4 times a week. You might be one of those who would like to commit to procrastinating less. Maybe you want to commit to reading 2 books a month for the next year.
We can commit, or want to commit, to just about anything. But commitment isn’t always easy and, honestly, a lot of us don’t do it very well. Commitment is a sustained effort over time. In other words, we put effort into moving toward a goal, or maintaining the one we have reached.
We’ve seen this happen in some areas of our lives. If you’re married, you probably didn’t give up the first time you and your spouse had an argument. You don’t disown your children because they are not following your directions. You keep going to your job even when things are not going exactly the way you would like.
We have all seen commitment and we have all been committed to something. Think about commitment in terms of your relationship with God. How does the idea of sustained effort over time fit into your ideas about your personal relationship with God?
In order for us to commit, we must find a good reason to do so. Let’s be real about it. If I don’t see it as important, I am absolutely not going to commit. With that said, how important is your relationship with God?
Personally, I think a lot of people see a relationship with God as a burden. It causes them to believe they are giving more than they are getting from the relationship. There is a gigantic problem with this. If that is our attitude, then our relationship with God isn’t really about a relationship. It is about benefits.
None of us like relationships where someone doesn’t really care for us and only wants to get things from us. That’s not a real relationship. It’s a one-way transaction that always leaves one person short.
If you have that sort of relationship with God, your commitment to that relationship will never last long. The problem is, you will always see God as a divine gift-giver instead of the Everlasting Father. It is true that God gives good things to those who have a relationship with Him (see James 1:17). But He also loves us beyond our imagination and without limitation.
What does the phrase “relationship with God” mean to you? Be honest! Don’t let all the churchy language hijack your thoughts. Don’t let your past experiences with church people take over either. Just be honest with yourself. What does a relationship with God mean to you and how important is it to your life?
In Romans 8:38 – 39 (NASB), Paul makes a bold statement about the love of God:
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Here, Paul tells us of the persistence of God’s love. The most amazing aspect of God’s love is that it doesn’t change even if my love for Him fluctuates. I am truly thankful for that!
You might have heard Psalm 37:4 (NASB) before. It says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heat.” You may not have ever heard verse 5. It says, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.”
There is an important link here. Delighting ourselves in the Lord and Him giving us the desires of our heart is cool. But then we see this issue of commitment connected to trust in verse 5. And there you have it…
When I lack commitment in my relationship with God, what I really lack is trust. When I am able to trust that God wants only the best for me, I am able to commit to my relationship with Him. That said, a lack of commitment is really a lack of trust. Here is a question to consider, “Is God trustworthy?”
Today, I want to invite you to evaluate your relationship with God and make a genuine, heartfelt commitment to it. Engage in daily prayer. Get back to the Bible. I also pray that you will get involved with your church or that you will find one if you don’t have one. Do not let your past wavering impact the future. You can make a full commitment today!
What has stood in your way of making a full commitment to your relationship with God? How would you recommend someone start?