The foundation of our ability to carry out all other commitments in life – committing to Staying in the Boat – begins and ends with understanding and doing our best to live out God’s expectations with regard to commitment. His great expectations for staying committed exist as the gold standard for how commitment should exist in our lives. What are those expectations?
Mathew 22:37-38 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” In other words, when it comes to being committed, we first and foremost must commit totally and completely to God. You’re either in or you’re out. There is no in between.
Jesus’ words to a crowd of people, recorded in Luke 9:23-24, tell us that commitment to Him is a daily decision. He said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
Once we commit to Christ, there is no going back to our former way of living. This means we will have to say “no” to some good things. Following Jesus is not just a one-time event. It’s an ongoing, daily, moment-by-moment experience.
Committing to Christ in faith means making Him our sole authority, our guiding light and our unerring compass. Paul, in Galatians 2:20, says it this way, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
We may not always understand, but being faithfully committed means we continue on in the way He has set before us.
If anyone remembers much from Apollo 13, they usually remember the famous words of NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz who said, “Failure is not an option.” Because they refused to even explore the possibility that the astronauts would not return home safely, they were able to avoid tragedy.
At the dedication of the temple, Solomon praised God for promises kept and for bringing rest to His people, and then He said to the people, “Your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord your God, to live by His decrees and obey his commands.” (1 Kings 8:61)
Solomon was declaring that full commitment and obedience to God was not an option. If we approach commitment to God in the same way as Kranz did bringing the Apollo 13 astronauts home safely, we will be able to successfully live obedient lives.
In order to stay committed and to keep commitments in any area of life, we must first focus on total, continual, faithful and obedient commitment to God. No other option exists for Staying in the Boat and to finish strong by reaching the other shore successfully and victoriously.
DISCUSSION: What is the state of God’s great expectations in your life?