One of the greatest displays of dedication and faithfulness we can show our brothers and sisters is our commitment to them.  Now I have been married for over 30 years to Karen, the best woman in the world.  This is a sign of commitment not only of my love and devotion to her, but of her commitment and love to me.  How could I not commit myself to her, she gave me four wonderful kids and has dedicated her self towards me for over 30 years.  This my friend goes much further than just loving me.  If we only love each other our relationships will not last it will break down when our body begins to break down and wear out, when our teeth and hair begin to fall out, when our minds become dull, and we are in great need of someone to feed us or change our diaper.  Yes, commitment goes much further than love, this is why there is such lack in the church today, no real commitment.  No commitment to studying (not just reading) God’s word, no real commitment to prayer, and no commitment to spending time with God.  How do we expect to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ if we cannot be committed to God?  How can we grow spiritually if we cannot find time to hear from God?  Now do not make the big mistake of thinking and confusing commitment with busy work at church.  Real commitment happens in the heart and always involves sacrifice of our self so that others may prosper.  Sadly pastoring a church, teaching Sunday School, changing diapers in the nursery, counting the money, parking cars, cutting the grass, or greeting people at the door does not equal commitment, they equal service at different degrees. I would think the diaper changing and the grass cutting (in God’s eyes) ranks far ahead of the pastoring and teaching and so is the reward for the real dirty jobs.  Commitment is critical in our relationship, yet divorce rates among Christians and worldly practices of living together before marriage out strips the secular world.  What has happened to our commitment?  Commitment requires integrity, honor, and honesty three things woefully lacking in most Christian (I include myself here at times) circles to the word of God and His ways. Oh we are ready for our destiny in God (oh really), but not ready for a real commitment to God that is heart focused and dedicated to the point of real sacrifice that God can count on.  Oh we dance around (like Miriam), but in our heart we lack the determination and valor to follow through.  In Exodus we read, “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”  (Exodus 15: 20-21)  What a wonderful song of victory as all of the woman of Israel took up their timbrels and had a Holy Ghost spell (what they use to call a move of God’s Spirit in times past), but if we wait and read a few more chapters  we see the real heart of the people and Miriam for her brother Moses.  Here, Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.”  (Numbers 12:1)   The Lord calls Aaron and Miriam on their words, “My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? 9And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. 10And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.’  (Number 12:7-10) The point here is Aaron and especially Miriam carried bad feelings and resentment for their brother through the miracle of the Red Sea and through the victory dance and for that they both were punished by God.  No real commitment to Moses on Aaron and Miriam’s part brought swift and severe punishment.  No emotional experience in God or amount of church busy work ever equals our obedience and commitment to God and His people.  My friend let us take heed to the warning here in Numbers before we fall into such a horrible pit.

Yes true commitment is a must in our lives if we are going to walk in obedience to the Lord, but we must take heed my friend to who we are committing ourselves to. Often we make a very big mistake in God by committing ourselves to ones who are not really walking with the Lord as they appear or are off track in their revelation of the Scriptures.  Remember, everything that glitters is not gold and in God everyone who preaches and teaches are not of God. The New Testament is full of verses that warn us to beware of false teachers; oh they are teachers, but they are false teachers.  In 2 Peter we find Peter warning the Christians against false teachers within their local fellowship who would lead them into apostasy.  “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”  (2 Peter 2:1-4)  My friend times have not changed much in this area. Then and now they “merchandise” you or sell you out so they can take advantage of you.  Through their “feigned words” they deceive you and take you for all they can.  Over my many years walking with the Lord I have known many false teachers and have known many Christians who have gotten off track because they have listened to wrong teachings.  They committed themselves to their teacher or mentor who was a false teacher and now both have run into a horrible pit.  Many denominations (especially the Southern Baptist) teach you are to find a mentor or a “father in the Lord” you can trust and depend on to commit your self to, someone who can hold you accountable before God.  My friend this is a very dangerous practice that will get you into a world of trouble with God. I have seen and even recently personally experienced the great folly in this. We must be very careful who we commit ourselves to.  We must be very careful who we call our teacher, we even must be carful who we call a friend.  You know I am learning I have many acquaintances, but very few friends. We must be led and accountable to the Holy Spirit in all of our dealings then we will have good success and not get off track.  Did you know it matters who your teacher is? I am proud to call Charles Haun my teacher. Here too in our misunderstanding (not our not understanding) can we get in trouble.  For example, many teachers teach to knock, seek, and find, well here we must take heed to be careful.  Jesus never taught this He taught if we ask we will be given something, if we seek we will find something, and if we knock a door will open.  In Matthew we read, “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”  (Luke 11:9-10)  Now they may all be what God wants us to discover in Him (in our asking, seeking, and knocking), but take heed my friend they may not.  Do you see the difference in what Jesus was saying and what many false teachers teach?  The tense and mood of these verses (check it out) warns us to take heed to ourselves in this area and does not encourage us (like most teach) to keep on asking, seeking, or knocking God until we are blue in the face.  This is a self-centered selfish approach to the Scriptures.  My friend the Scriptures are not written so that we can add things to our self, but to encourage us to be willing to give things away. Anyone who teaches to the contrary is a false teacher and a liar.  And here the misunderstanding (out from most denominational and prosperity teachings) of these verses causes many Christians to be led astray because they have committed themselves to those who would speak and spread lies, a false teacher from their “feigned  (Strong’s #4112,  moulded, formed, as from clay, wax, or stone) words” of deception.

Even though Jesus died for everyone in the world He never committed Him self to everyone in the world.  Please let me say that again, Jesus never committed Himself to everyone in the world.  Now here is where committing ourselves to some Christians can really get us in trouble.  In John we read, “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.”  (John 2:23-25)  Here Jesus knew the hearts of the people, they came for the miracles and to fill their belly with wine and food, but their desire to know the heart of Jesus was far from them.  John said Jesus, “knew all men” well guess what my friend Jesus still knows all men.  Jesus knows our heart, Jesus knows our desires and hungers. Jesus even knows why we serve Him.  I am amazed at the number of Christians (I know) who serve Jesus so that they can get something from Him or be spoken well of.  Ministry to the world my friend is not the end of our relationship with the Lord, but the means for us to lay our life down for the world. Do you know what Jesus knew about the people?  I believe Jesus knew the lies they had in their hearts.  The Bible, time and time again, talks about how God hates a lying tongue.  When we commit ourselves to someone and they have been found out to be less than what we thought (sometimes this is our fault for expecting more than what they can provide after all a man cannot give what they do not have) or worse a liar, trust the element that bonds, that glues relationships together is lost.  And when trust is lost the relationship is not possible until the trust is restored by the one who has lied or has been found out to be less than what was expected. Trust is restored not through swelling words or tearful confessions, but confidence in character, honor, and integrity, but this takes humility (I declare my need for more of this here) by all parties.  Oh the loss of relationship that happens from committing ourselves to people who take for granted the commitment that was invested into the relationship.  I feel I have learned again, it is best not to commit ourselves to man, but put all that is within us to commit ourselves to God through the Holy Spirit.  But, if you do commit yourself to man take heed my friend your heart can only take so much and you have only so much in which someone can use you up.  Thank God for His touch.