Friday, November 15, 2013

A Genuine Commitment

Taken from chapter one of "A Woman After God's Own Heart"
by Elizabeth George

Commit yourself to God daily---Our devotion to God is strengthened when we offer Him a fresh commitment each day.  Every morning, in a heartfelt prayer either written or silent, start fresh with God by giving Him all that you are, all that you daily.  Lay everything on God's altar in what one saint of old called the "surrendered life."  Give God your life, your body (such as it is), your health (or lack of it), your husband, each child (one by one), your home, your possessions.  Nurture the habit of placing these blessings in God's loving hands to do with them what He will.  After all, they are not ours---they are His!  A daily prayer of commitment helps us to release what we think are our rights to these gifts.  As the saying goes, "Hold all things lightly and nothing tightly."  I also find these words from nineteenth-century devotional writer Andrew Murray helpful:
"God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him."

So aim at some kind of commitment to God made daily.  It can be as simple as this prayer, the first of F.B. Meyer's seven rules for living:  "Make a daily, definite, audible consecration of yourself to God.  Say it out loud: 'Lord, today I give myself anew to You.' "

Perhaps the prayer of commitment I love best (and have written on the front page of my Bible) is that of Betty Scott Stam, a China Inland Mission worker.  She and her husband were led through the streets of China to their execution by decapitation, while their baby lay behind in its crib.  This was her daily prayer:

Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life.  I give myself, my time, my all, utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.  Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.  Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.

In this case, the cost was high.  This total commitment to God cost Betty Stam her ministry, her husband, her child, her life.  But that kind of commitment is indeed our high calling as His children (Romans 8: 17).


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