We make decisions every single day. You may make a decision to start eating healthier, get in shape, wake up earlier to have more time with God or with family, save money for a major purchase, or get out of debt. But we often never get passed the decision to the action.
Sure, you can sign up for a gym membership at the fanciest gym in town, hire the best personal trainer, fill your refrigerator with organic food and spend half your paycheck on cool workout gear. But if on your way to the gym you take a detour to McDonald’s, never show up to train and decide to use your workout clothes as lounge clothes, you will never accomplish your initial goal.
But what went wrong? You had the equipment, the help, the clothes and the food; you made the decision. I think there was one significant thing missing: commitment. Commitment is the difference between those who accomplish something and those who are constantly hoping but never quite get to it.
In Mark 8:34, Jesus tells the crowds and the disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
So it’s not just a decision, it’s a commitment. Deny yourself means that you don’t do something you want to do. So you understand that you may want to stop at McDonald’s, you will be tempted, but you have to deny yourself that thing you want for the thing you need.
If denying yourself is not doing something you want to do, then taking up your cross is doing something you don’t want to do. Like Jesus on the way to Calvary, He prayed that if there was another way, God would do it. When no other way came, He was willing to take the walk that He so dreaded. Why? Not because He wanted to do it, but because He needed to do it. It was God’s will for His life.
And finally, once you have figured out what you need to do, what you need to stop doing and once you have counted the cost of what it will take, then you follow and the burden seems so much lighter. You may have made the decision to get in shape, get out of debt, spend more time with God, be more patient, be a better parent; whatever it may be, don’t just make the decision, make the commitment. Figure out what it’s going to take, think about what you will have to sacrifice; visualize yourself on the other side and get ready to dive in, fully committed.
Prayer: “God, I don’t just want to make a decision, I want to make a commitment in this area of my life. So would you help me to not do things I want to do, to do the things I don’t want to do and to be fully committed to every decision I make? And let all this be for Your honor and glory. Amen.”
Posted on Thu, June 11, 2015
by Sam Petitfils