Have you ever noticed how much farther the actual distance is over water than what it looks like standing on shore? Many people have thought they could swim further than they can only to find themselves in trouble when they get in the middle of the lake. Either that or they over-estimated their swimming abilities. They begin to tire, start treading water and then eventually drown if help doesn’t come.

This happens with commitments too. All too often, we think we can handle more than we actually can. We take on more and more commitments only to eventually find ourselves overwhelmed and drowning.

If we think of staying in the boat as staying committed to living life according to the Word of God, we realize that we have to first make that choice to get into the boat. We must decide that we aren’t going to attempt to swim across the lake on our own and that we do need get into the boat that will help us safely reach the other shore.

All too often though, we start out in the boat certain we will stay determined and finish strong, but we suddenly find that water surrounds us. Maybe our boat is sinking from over-commitment, like we’ve taken buckets of water and filled our boats to the point of overload.

Maybe we grabbed a life vest somewhere along the line and are now just floating along while life happens around us. Perhaps we decided to dive into the water because we think the boat isn’t going fast enough, and we are swimming and working and suddenly find ourselves horribly tired, treading water but barely able to keep from drowning.

And sometimes, we decide that the boat we’re in – lives committed to God and to live life according to His Word – doesn’t seem to be taking us in the right direction, and we jump into the next boat that comes along. We turn our attentions to the things of this world that seem to satisfy and meet needs initially but that eventually prove to be shoddy rafts that soon become water-logged.

Finishing strong – meaning staying in the boat and enduring to the final destination of eternity with our Creator – begins and ends with focusing on the great expectations that God has for how we live lives committed to Him.

For the next four Fridays, five Fridays total including this one, we will look at what the Bible has to say about staying committed. We will look at those great expectations, and we will explore some of the biblical examples of lives fully committed to God. We will also look at lessons we can learn from the Bible about commitment as well as guidelines for godly commitment and benefits of total commitment to God.

So climb into the boat! Make a commitment to live your life according to God’s great expectations. Start rowing by exploring commitment in a way that will keep the waters of life from overwhelming you and instead will allow your life to overflow with God’s rich blessings as you journey with Him to the other shore.

DISCUSSION: How do you view a life fully committed to God and living according to His Word?

Read the entire Staying Committed Series:

Staying Committed, Part 2 of 5 – Great Expectations

Staying Committed, Part 3 of 5 – Biblical Lessons on Commitment

Staying Committed, Part 4 of 5 – Guidelines for Godly Commitment

Staying Committed, Part 5 of 5 – Benefits of Total Commitment