Character trait no. 4
One who is committed has dedicated or entrusted himself completely to something or someone. Placing your crazy Uncle Joe in the local insane asylum is not the meaning here! Hannah committing her son Samuel to serve the in temple is a much better example. We read:
“Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one epath of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, although the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli, ( the high priest). And she said, “O my Lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.”
Hannah, who had been barren – a fruitless wife – committed Samuel to the temple in gratitude for the Lord granting her a son. Similarly, by the way, we too have been granted a son in our spiritual barrenness, namely the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Being convicted of this fact means being consecrated, or committed, unto He who died for us that we might truly live.
God dramatically delivered the Jewish people from slave status in ancient Egypt/Africa so that they would be consecrated to Him. An entire NATION! Read Exod. 19:4-6,10
(“Out of Africa” could be more than a well-known movie title.) God brought them out so that they could be holy – which literally means “set apart for a special purpose”. In order for the Israelites to be holy, they had to be brought into a covenant relationship with God.
The Lord “brokered” a deal through Moses that would be the constitutional basis for the Republic of Israel’s very existence. The Ten Commandments constituted the core of this agreement. He demanded total commitment from the Israelites. Freed from cruel bondage in the “iron furnace”, they were to reciprocate by completely trusting Jehovah and obeying His law. He would then protect them from all enemies and bless them with long life, fertility of soil and womb, good health and prosperity. In short, he’d make them a great nation. (Thus the Old Covenant is truly a “health, wealth and success message.”) Enjoyment of the blessings depended on the Jews total commitment. Unfortunately, as we know from old Israel’s sad history, her failure in this area led to the complete destruction of the nation.
Today’s high divorce rates, rampant bankruptcies and abandoned wives, husbands and especially children show the appalling lack of commitment in modern society. We must be willing to stand and fight for our marriages, families and property. Commitment means that we stick with it until the end. Strongly determined fathers will be there to teach, admonish and rescue their families from the claws of Satan. They won’t, we won’t be defeated! Committed mothers stubbornly struggle in prayer and good works to raise their children as whole, happy individuals who love Christ. Christians are true patriots who fervently appeal to heaven’s court for their homelands, that justice would role down like a mighty river. They vote, write letters, petition both heaven and earth’s courts and get involved at a local and national level, providing there is no conflict of interest with their devotion to Christ and His church.
Above all, Christians are committed to the Lord’s church. Commitment is obvious to the outside observer. A fire lit under a tea kettle produces boiling water and steam, and a loud whistle. Someone convicted by God’s word will similarly be clearly committed in many areas. Every time, on time, they are up for every assembly of the saints. They are the “faithful men” of II Timothy 2:2. Rain or shine, late night or early day, they go with the gospel, doing personal Bible studies and teaching groups. They tithe and give generous offerings as in Moses day for the tabernacle. (Exodus 36:3-6) Help is happily provided for hospitality for the saints and benevolence towards the needy, both within and without the church, like Dorcas. (Acts 9:36) Such modern-day Macedonians beg for the opportunity to participate in giving, even though they’re poor in earthly resources. (II Cor. 8:3-4) Their rich understanding of the Bible is as obvious to all as it was in Berea, since they eagerly memorize and read it daily. (Acts 17:11) Their diligent prayer lives explain the calluses on their knees. Long hours working for the church means shorter hours playing around or lying in their warm, soft beds.
Let me close here with a living example of such commitment by considering one man, my friend Kwame Karikari, known by his many friends and admirers simply as KK. At 8:30 PM, Saturday, January 15th, 2000, my family recently experienced the terror of an attack by armed robbers in Kumasi, Ghana. We managed to fight them off, with Stephen Icenogle’s heroic help. Then KK, my faithful co-worker for our mission, went to work. A mobile phone that was accidentally dropped by one of the fleeing robbers provided an excellent lead as to his whereabouts. KK tirelessly worked with the police to track down the crook and actually personally help bring him to justice. KK never slept or ate properly one entire day and night, as did his buddy and my disciple Alexander Bandah. I just want to add that he also spent much time and energy clearing goods from the Tema port right before Christmas, no small task. To me, KK is a great picture of commitment. He would and has risked his life, like Epaphroditus in Philippians 2:29, for me and more importantly, for the cause of Christ that I represent. What an inspiration to us all of the diligent and consecrated hard work Christ desires from us in order to get His spiritual restoration transformation revolution accomplished. What about you?
Be totally committed to Christ, because Christ totally committed Himself to you by dying on the cross. You and I have been brought out of a spiritual Africa/Egypt and have come into a spiritual kingdom much greater than old Israel, through a much greater covenant. (II Cor. 3:8) So then, how much more loyal should we be? Be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.