Nearly 42 years ago, I developed a habit of typing out Bible verses, quotes from books or thought that I wanted to read and look at daily. Fast forward to last summer when I had the painful duty of purging all of my files over the last 40 plus years. I could not take them with me, there were between 2000-3000 file folders with approximately 20 items in each folder. A few years before I had switched over to electronic files. As I looked at the file folders filled with sermons, articles, and anything whatsoever that I thought I might need or use someday, I was overwhelmed by the enormity of the material. As I was going through the process it was painful for me. Letting go is hard, yet necessary. A few friends helped me over a few weeks and months. One afternoon I happened across several blue cards that I had typed and carried around with me in my coat pocket. I would take them out and read them several times a day in the early days of my ministry.
One of the first cards that I found was regarding commitment. Here is what I typed from a book, or a sermon over 4 decades ago:
- Commitment usually begins in an atmosphere of struggle.
- Commitment does not depend on ability or gifts.
- Commitment is the result of choice; it is not a condition.
- Commitment starts with the little things in our lives.
- Don’t start to win the world, win one, then win two, and so on.
- Settle the issue of commitment before it arises.
- Trust in God.
- Be single-minded.
On the other side of the card I had placed the following: The first result of our commitment is that we will be tried. Bank on it; when we stand up for God, we will be tested. The result of our commitment is that God will be glorified. How is the world going to know about the greatness of our God without committed Christians? Our problem is not the lack of display of the power of God, His miracles, or the anointing of God: God is ready to do His part. He just waiting for somebody to get in the furnace.
The ultimate result of commitment is that God will bless our lives.
As I reflect over the years, I am so thankful that I learned to trust Him. As was stated on the card it is not talent, ability, positioning, having the right parents, or one’s appearance, it comes down to committing oneself to the Lord.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:4-6)
As I reflect back over the years, there is one thing that stands out: The goodness of God!
I can sum it up in the stanza from an old song: