God’s System of Personal Commitment

by APC on August 20, 2015

There are components that every believer needs in their life in order to identify, make, and keep their commitment to God. God has created these components through a series of systems. God’s created systems are not synchronous—they are like “cogs” that mesh and build together. Each system God designed for His creation help us produce spiritual fruit in our life and help us walk the life-long journey of discipleship.

Starting on Our Journey

In order to operate in God’s presence and to be His disciple, we must learn to commit to be what God loves. I Peter 1:15 tells us to be holy in all manner of conversation or behavior. One foundational characteristic of God is His holiness (Psalm 99:9), and if we are to be like Christ, we need to be holy.

In II Corinthians 6:17, God tells us to come out from the world and to be separate. We must sever ourselves from the culture we live in and to establish a behavior of holiness. Holiness is not something that we can “attain” in this life—holiness is a direction, not a destination! Because holiness is God’s absolute nature, we will walk toward this as we make the commitment to life a life for Him. A personal effort to live a life marked by God’s holiness is essential in maintaining our salivation.

While we can never come in comparison to God’s holiness, we can strive to be like Him day by day, and to be better yesterday than the day before. It’s possible in a day, month, and year, to be more like Jesus! God has given us His divine power to live above sin and to walk this journey of discipleship and holiness (II Peter 1:3). He would never ask us to do anything He wouldn’t empower us to do.

Personal Commitments

Personal commitments are stepping stones to actions or behaviors that are spirit-prompted, spirit-led, and God-defined. They take us on our journey toward a direction of holiness or God-likeness; they develop the nature of God (holiness) inside of us. Personal commitments are steps that are prompted by God, but we choose to commit to them in this life. We draw our own line in the sand!

We are motivated to make personal commitments to live holy lives not merely by enforced rules. Anyone can live by rules. But, we are motivated to make a personal commitment because we love God and we know these commitments will please Him—they are not grievous to us (I John 5:3).

Main “Cogs” in the System of Personal Commitment

An Ear for God’s Voice

There is a difference between hearing God’s voice and listening to God’s voice. We need to be careful that we’re listening with the ears God has given us (Psalm 115:6, Matthew 11:15). There are so many voices in this world—we need to develop an ability to discern God’s voice.

Many of us can hear God’s voice, but we choose not to listen. We will not allow ourselves to be directed by God: listen, comprehend, and apply what God’s told us. When we come into the presence of the Lord—whether in church or at home—are we listening for God’s voice? His voice will come to us through three main avenues.

The Bible

Our spiritual ears need to be just as open when reading God’s Word than at any other time. We need to be washed by the Word of God so that we may become holy and blameless before Him (without spot or wrinkle) (Ephesians 5:26–27).

Spiritual Leaders

God will place spiritual leaders in our life that we need to listen to. God has appointed them over us to watch out for us, to instruct us, and to be the mouthpiece of God. God created the five-fold ministry—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers—to equip the saints for ministry, and to build up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Holy Spirit

We need to listen to the Holy Spirit (God’s presence) working inside of us each and every day. God said that He will put His law into our hearts and write them in our minds (Hebrews 10:16). There are some things that God will speak to us about that we will never need a man of God to tell us. We may not even have Scripture for what God has asked us to do—but we need to be obedient to God’s voice!

A Constant Comparison to His Way, Word, and Church

We cannot identify what we will do in God’s church until we determine what we’re currently doing versus what we should be doing. Paul warned the church that it was unwise to compare ourselves to others (II Corinthians 10:12) because we are to measure ourselves against Christ. We cannot allow our own pride or what other people think to keep us from our personal commitments and from taking a step toward holiness in God. The only right we have is to compare ourselves against Jesus—we need to measure up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

There are three kinds of personal commitments and/or church principles we need to follow.

Bible Commitments

These are listed out plainly in Scripture. We are to abide by God’s Word in its entirety (Galatians 3:10) and never to depart from it (Joshua 1:8). God is an unchanging God, and what He directed the early church to do, He expects for us to do today.

Church Commandments

Jesus gave all of us authority by His Spirit (Luke 10:19). He did this also so that we could each be a spiritual leader in His kingdom. His ultimate desire is that we all can apply the principles of His Word. We need to determine quickly in our walk with Him what is profitable for the kingdom of God and what isn’t. The church body as a whole should abide by different standards of holiness and separation compared to what the world engages in, making sure what we do edifies the body of Christ.

Personal Convictions

There are times God will put a personal conviction on our heart to follow (these may be the things we hear from listening to and hearing God’s voice). These convictions will never contradict what has been spoken by the pastor or by the Word of God. God will never go against His word (Isaiah 55:11). These personal convictions will go above and beyond what the church already teaches.

Submission

Scripture commands us to be submitted to God (James 4:7). This isn’t an option in God’s system. Many times we have read something in God’s Word but we choose not to do it. We make too many excuses about how God’s still “working on us” or how “God hasn’t convicted of something yet.” Many issues in our spiritual walk will come not from a lack of revelation to God’s Word, but a lack of submission to it. Paul told the church to obey their spiritual leaders and to submit themselves (Hebrews 13:17).

Choosing to Draw the Line in Personal Commitment

God expects His children to draw a line in the sand and make a personal commitment to live for Him, obey His Word, and to listen to His voice. If we aren’t doing these things, we’re committing sin in our life and God’s doesn’t tolerate this. Many people mistake God’s mercy as acceptance for their blatant disregard for God’s commands—His mercy and grace will not last forever! Judgment is coming, so we need to make up our minds to get committed now.

The more we become like Christ and mature in our lifestyle, the more God can use us in His kingdom. God knows who really wants to serve Him. We need to be ready for God to use every day (II Timothy 2:19–21)!

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on August 19, 2015