“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35-39). Isn’t that a wonderful thought? We are more than conquerors through Jesus.
Many people camp on this verse in Romans 8 and never understand commitment to Jesus. W.E. Vine gives this definition of the noun paratheke: a putting with, a deposit. Paul tells Timothy, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). What had Paul put deposit with the Lord? It was his soul. Paul is saying he was not ashamed that he had given his soul over to the Lord for safekeeping. Commitment, then, is always connected with giving or making a deposit. Let us look at the object and the obstacles of our faith to understand commitment.
THE OBJECT OF OUR COMMITMENT
In what do you want to succeed? Do you want to be a soul winner? A parent young people look up to? Or maybe a good speaker or song leader? The list goes on and on. The point is, have you given yourself to, made a deposit to, entrusted to the end? Commitment is not born out of like or dislike. It is born out of the sense of determination and discipline that reaches beyond desire. Are you committed? Some say they are but do not teach a Bible class. Christianity is not built on convenience. In fact, many times, it is quite the opposite. Are you willing to lay down your time, talent, treasure, and testimony to Jesus? You decide the “what,” and God will decide the “HOW TO!”
THE OBSTACLES OF COMMITMENT
You say, “I know what I want, but there are so many things in the way.” There use to be a TV program where NFL stars compete in an obstacle course. They try to beat the time of the other athletes. If there were no obstacles, would we want to watch? Would they want to compete? They used the obstacles as stepping stones, and we need to do the same in life. Struggle is an obstacle in life. But guilt is one of the largest obstacles. It divides the mind, destroys self image, and will defeat everything we do. Jesus tells us when we entrust our souls to Him there is no reason to feel guilty. Most guilt is based on a bad attitude. We must have a positive mental attitude, but our spiritual life must be in order (Matthew Chapters 5-7).
We are to be committed because Jesus demands it. Let us make a commitment by putting our souls on deposit with the Lord and use the obstacles to help make us stronger. Let us all examine our commitment. We can be more than conquerors.