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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Row on

Commitment is an act, not a word.  (Jean-Paul Sartre)  It was Sartre who also said that the only one who has time to rock the boat is the one who is not rowing it! The facts are quite plain - get in, grab an oar, and start rowing! Actions are needed - not just words - when it comes to this walk with Jesus! The Christian group Selah has a song entitled "Hold On". In it you will find the words:  "You gotta hold to His hand, God's unchanging hand. You gotta hold to His hand, God's unchanging hand. You gotta build your hopes on things eternal. My God will never let you down." As much as we think we are doing all the "rowing" in this life, the reality is that God is the one who has our hand in his, moving not just the "boat" of our life, but the waters upon which it rests!

He is the Lord our God. His justice is seen throughout the land. He always stands by his covenant—the commitment he made to a thousand generations. (Psalm 105:7-8 NLT)

Sartre indicated this thing called commitment is an action - perhaps starting with words, but backed by all manner of action until the evidence of the fact becomes a reality one can trust in with all of one's heart. This commitment begins first with our heavenly Father. The one who stands by his covenant is the one who holds our hand! There is no other who will match his faithfulness, nor is there any way we can humanly be "perfect" in our commitment, but we can take steps in obedience as he calls us to. This is perhaps the single-most important way we reveal our love - in taking action toward obedience. I believe love is the ultimate act of commitment - it is the ultimate culmination of actions taken, not for ourselves, but because we trust in and rely upon another.

By the very act of committing one's self to a matter, we are indicating we are about to change. Think about it - when we agree to save money, don't we take the first step to open a saving's account and arrange for a sum to be deposited? We change how it is we handle our money because we make that commitment. When we agree to go somewhere on a certain day at a certain time, we prepare to be there as planned, requiring a "change" from our present location to the other. All of commitment requires change - therefore, the greatest actions of love lead us toward change - first his actions pull us toward change, then our actions respond to actually enter into that change. 

Too many times I think we approach commitment as though it was just a matter of the mind or heart. In reality, giving thought to, or emotionally responding is good, but it lacks the "feet" that are required to realize the evidence of true and lasting change in our lives. Change requires movement - therefore, it can be assumed that commitment requires movement (action), as well! God might part waters, move mountains, and answer our every need even before we utter the words that we have need - actions based on his commitment to us. Parted waters, moved mountains, and answered prayers are not just a display of his love, they are "avenues" for our change! Avenues are only of value when they are traveled - no road is ever created just to look at it! Just sayin!