We live in a culture where commitment isn’t always necessary. Between fishing for better pay by threatening to leave a job, to men & women shacking up together without a commitment of choosing to love one another through thick and thin, the list goes on and on with examples of how noncommittal our society really is. Whoever has the most to gain is where efforts lie until the tide changes.
Let it not be so with us (Christians).
We are set apart as we confirm that Jesus lived a sinless life and died a sinner’s death to be resurrected over the power of death, and that He is the Lord. God considers us holy and presses us toward holiness with His indwelling Spirit.
The Holy Spirit prunes us from within, cutting off all dead fruit and unproductive branches, in order for new fruit – good fruit, godly fruit – to be made manifest within us. Our character moves from displaying the fruit of the flesh to the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5).
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” — 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
We move from foundations of sand to foundation on the rock (Matthew 7:24-27). Our hearts go from rocky soil to rich soil (Matthew 13). He heals our wounds, washes us from sin, counts us pure and blameless and righteous. Yet, not with our own righteousness, but with the righteousness of Jesus.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” — Ephesians 2:1-9
It is not easy to tell God that we are “all in”. It is painful to let go of our old, familiar life. It requires sacrifice – sacrifice of self. It requires death – death of the flesh. These things don’t feel all that great. Sometimes it comes in the form of persecution. Other times in the form of loss of friendships.
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” — Philippians 3:7-9
But it will feel so much more amazing when those are done and we find ourselves desiring to walk by faith, in community with others in faith. Our perspective changes and it’s revealed that we’ve found what we were made for – to glorify God at all costs.
The wonderful thing about being set apart and deemed holy by God is that others get to see a glimpse of Him in you. Others have a chance to see what’s so special about Jesus and why is He so important. Being committed to Christ means that others experience Him because you are compelled to tell them, show them, serve them and invite them.
May we all be surrendered fully to the glory of His name. May we be “all in” for the expansion of His Kingdom. May His face shine upon us and also those within arm’s reach.