I’m in! You can count on me! I’ll be there! Sounds like fun! Let’s do it! I mean well. Really, I do. I make plans, thinking that it won’t take much time to complete them. Unfortunately, it usually takes more time than I estimated. If I agree to go shopping with someone in three weeks, I often wake up on that day and think, “Why in the world did I say I was going? I don’t feel like going anywhere. My body is saying, “Don’t move.” I was excited when I made the commitment, but I didn’t know at the time that I would also have unscheduled projects, babysitting duties, and 10 additional things not even on my list for that week. So what should I do?
Do I keep my commitment? Do I keep my word? Let’s take a look at a story about a prophet in the book of 1 King 18:41-46. There had been a famine for three years because of the lack of rain. God told Elijah to tell Ahab that he was sending rain. After the contest on Mt. Carmel (see previous 2 blogs), Elijah told Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees and prayed. “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked. “There is nothing there,” he said. Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” The sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, and the heavy rains came. Imagine what would have happened had Elijah stopped praying after the sixth time. Maybe he would not have seen the miracle God was about to perform. But when God instructed him to keep praying, he kept praying. He was committed to God’s plan and He did not give up.
We all make commitments. Do those who know you see you as a person who can keep your commitments? Well, I think that you are a person who can keep a commitment. Why? You kept a commitment to someone. Maybe it was to God, a friend, a loved one, or maybe it was to yourself, to get out of bed, put one foot in front of the other, and make it through another day. Okay, you say, “I didn’t have a choice,” but you did and you chose life. And since you are committed to living life, why not place your life in God’s very capable hands, so that you may experience His abundant life. Why not keep your commitment to exercise, to eat right, to get regular checkups, to rest, to finish what you started, to go to class if you are in school and not ditch, to be true to yourself and to God.
Instead of harming my life by giving up, God wants me to say, “I won’t give up. I will not be lead by my emotions. I will not be distracted by negative circumstances. I will not be influenced to give up because of what I don’t have. I am committed to you, Lord. I am committed to this relationship you and I have. I am committed to my marriage. I am committed to my children. I am committed to my family. I am committed to love others the way that you love me. I will remember my vows to you and to others; and in love I will follow through. Give me the strength I need to keep my commitments. Give me the wisdom I need, so I will know how to keep my word. Help me not to make commitments lightly, but to pray and seek your guidance before I give my word, my pledge. Then, once I give my word, I will not sabotage my life by giving up. Let me stand until I see your promises come to pass.”
My friend, I am determined to stand firm and hold to the teachings the Holy Spirit has revealed to me every time I opened His Word for study. I am committed to learning more about God’s Word every time I listened to a teaching tape, every time I come out on Wednesday night for Bible Study or Sunday morning in Sunday School. I am committed to the ministries where I have been assigned to work. I am determined to be a person that someone can depend on. I want to be reliable and worthy of others’ trust.
If you feel the same way, then say with me: “Lord, help me to keep my commitments, so I won’t sabotage my life.”
When you return, I’d like to discuss something that melts my chocolate… a wavering mind! Until then, may God bless you on this journey.