There are so many questions to ponder when we make this commitment to follow Christ. Many churches across this country offer a chance to make a commitment to follow Christ (there is that word follow again) on Sunday mornings and a lot of people respond but are we really preparing them for what that commitment means? Culturally speaking, we have such a warped sense of what commitment means in this country. The divorce rate is just as high in the church as it is out of the church. Marriage is just one example but in our society it is one of the biggest commitments that is made and yet it seems to be more and more, a commitment that is easily broken and with no second thoughts. Another commitment that many people make on a daily basis is to the credit card companies that we all owe. When we swipe our cards to pay for goods or services rendered we are committing to that credit card company to pay them back at a later date. But more and more people have to declare bankruptcy and seek out the services of debt reduction services because we made a commitment that we couldn’t keep. To say that you are committing to do something now means that you will try the best you can but if it doesn’t work out, oh well, at least you gave it a shot. The mindset has slowly changed into one that has no value for made commitments. We want to have all the fun we can and have all the pleasures of the easy life but as soon as things get a little rocky we are ready to jump off the ship we are on and board the next one sailing to calmer seas.
To take it to an even simpler place, I am sure that all of us can think of a time or a person who told us that they would/would not do something and promised up and down that they would stay true to their word, only to find out that when the waves started coming over the boat they decided it was to hard to stay committed to what they had promised. Its Frustrating, isn’t it? We all want people to tell the truth but seem to find a reason why it is ok to go back on our own personal commitments. (And trust me, I have been there, all of the reasons for giving up or going back on our word seem completely legitimate at the time, right?)
I only say all this to point out that Christ desires for us to enter into a relationship with him that is eternal. It is a commitment that we will FOLLOW him all the rest of our lives. Now, am I saying that we have to live perfect lives from that point on? Not a chance. We are all human but we have to understand that the commitment that we have made is one that is very very important and God expects that we would take as seriously as he does. He took it so seriously that he sent his only son to die in our place.
This relationship we have is one that offers freedom, peace of mind, love, forgiveness, acceptance, joy, and many other things, but even though this is all a free no strings attached gift from God because he loves us, he still desires to bless us and teach us, and guide us, and talk to us. We need to realize what we were committing to and then stick to that commitment. We need to see that to call ourselves Christians is not something to flippantly say simply because we live in a “Christian Nation”. It is not a label that we slap on ourselves as an identity but it is who we are in every aspect of our lives and in the very fiber of our being. Let us press into the presence of God every day and strive to follow God closer and more passionately than we did yesterday. But always remember to follow means that someone else is leading and it may mean that the road gets rocky sometimes.
Final Thought: To follow means to be engaged in what we are doing. Lets make sure that we are walking with Christ and not just standing on the side of the road watching others do it in our place.