I was talking to someone close to me the other day about the need to be more connected to God in their lives. The conversation was about the importance of reading your bible and attending bible study and worship periods at our church. I made a comment about wanting to be with them, (eventually), in heaven.
They understood completely and agreed, but just were not able to force themselves to make that commitment. They jokingly said, “I want to go to heaven, but can’t we work something out on a payment plan, rather than doing it all at once?”
I understand where they were coming from. I understand the commitment that it takes to live your life in such a way as to be pleasing to God, (as much as you are able). It would be great if we could give ourselves to God just a little at a time, but it doesn’t work quite like that.
Honestly, I think there has been a change in our churches that coincides with the changes in our society. It appears to me, (from what I read and observe), that many more people today have a difficult time making a “total commitment” to anything. We seem to have forgotten what it means to commit ourselves to anything or anyone and then stick with the commitment.
Think about what you see in our world! Marriage, jobs, school, church, people just can’t seem to stick with anything anymore and these are just a few of the problems we see regarding commitment.
The sad thing is that this is a very real reflection of what takes place in many of our churches. The truth is that you can ask almost anyone if they love God and they will, (for the most part), reply “YES,” but their lives say something else. This is not a new problem is it? We read of the Israelites in Isaiah 29:13, “…this people come near to me with their mouths, and give honor to me with their lips, but their heart is far from me…”
It would be more agreeable to some to be able to “make payments” on heaven rather than making a total commitment, but that’s not what God asks of us is it? In Luke 18 a young man asks Jesus what kind of commitment he required. Jesus told him to sell everything he had and give it to the poor and then come and follow him. Jesus is not asking us to sell everything we have today, that was a specific instruction for a specific problem the man had. But the commitment requirement is no different. There can be nothing in our lives that keeps us from committing ourselves completely to God. Why? Because God doesn’t have a payment plan for heaven, he paid for the trip all at one time on the Cross. Now he expects us to respond with the same kind of commitment to him.
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.