My generation and even more so the generation coming after me has commitment issues.
Take marriage as an example. The Sacramento Bee, which is a newspaper in California, reported that nearly half of all Californians 18 and older are currently not married, and of those currently not married, nearly 35% have never been married. Comparing these numbers to 1960, we see that 26% of Californians were married and only 13% had never been married. These numbers are on the rise. It has been estimated that in next 5-10 years, there will be more people who are unmarried than married in California .
While these are statistic for California, this trend is occurring all over the nation. People in my generation and the generation after me just aren’t getting married. One of the reasons for this trend, certainly not the only reason, but one of the reasons for this trend is our issue with commitment.
But it’s not just that we are afraid to get married. Nowadays it is difficult to find anyone who has worked for a company longer than 5 years, attended one church most of their life, or even someone who has lived in the same town. We not only lack relational commitment but job, church, and geographical commitment as well. We have commitment issues.
We aren’t to hold back with God
When it comes to our relationship with God, however, we aren’t to hold back. We are to commit ourselves wholly to Him. In verse 1 of Genesis 17, God comes to Abraham and asks him to do two things – (1) to “walk before him” and (2) to be “blameless.”
When God tells Abraham to “walk before him”, what He means is that every step, every action that Abraham undertakes would be done with God in mind. The second idea — that Abraham would be “blameless”— re-enforces the first. In order for him to be blameless before God, he must completely and without qualification, give himself over to God.
God, then, is essentially asking Abraham to be wholly committed to Him. To give all of himself over, not leaving any part back. God wants it all – His job, family, leisure time, money, and sex life.
God expects the same from us. He expects us to be wholly devoted and committed to Him. Which means we can’t section off or compartmentalize our life. We have to give God our whole self.
It is difficult to give God our whole lives
For a generation struggling with commitment issues and one that is accustomed to holding things back, giving it all to God is difficult. In reality, giving our whole self over to God is difficult for anyone, not just my generation. We don’t want to give up control over our lives. We want to be able to call the shots and have options. But God asks, and even requires us, to give up control and commit ourselves fully to Him, if we are going to have a relationship with Him and experience the blessings that come from that relationship.
How do you know that you are wholly committed to God?
To help you figure out where your commitment lies, I have listed three questions below for you to reflect on.
(1) What do I prioritize in my life?
To figure this out, all you have to do is look at the things you spend your time, money, and energy on.
When your time is crunched, what gets pushed to the side? Is it more likely to be your Bible or is Facebook, Netflix, Hulu, or some topic you are researching on the internet?
When you get your paycheck, what do you spend your money on first? Is it your tithe, missions, or something else kingdom related? Or is it something for your home, a trip to the movies, or a day at Six Flags? In other words, how do you plan your budget? Do you give God what’s leftover or does He get your firstfruits?
What do you devote most of your energy to throughout the week? Is it the advancement of God’s kingdom or your own kingdom?
All these are good questions to ask because your priorities are often revealed by what you spend your time, money, and energy on.
(2) Where do you turn when you are facing issues at home, work, or church?
Do you turn to the Bible or human wisdom? If you turn to the Bible, are you willing to allow it to direct and guide your decisions, even if it is unpopular or will require sacrifice on your part? If you are wholly committed to God, He will be the first place you turn, and His wisdom will be the wisdom you follow.
(3) Do you just say you know God or do you obey Him?
John says in the second chapter of his first letter,
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:” (1 Jn 2:3–5)
Those who say they know God without obeying Him aren’t wholly committed to Him.
Question for Reflection
- Are you wholly committed to God or are you holding something back?
Post adapted from my recent sermon: Are You Wholly Committed to God? which you can listen to by clicking here.