“Your hearts must be fully committed (‘completely faithful’ NLT / ‘completely devoted’ HCSB) to the LORD our God, to live by His decrees and obey (all) His commands….” (1 Kings 8:61) The Lord is continuously looking for genuine believers who are willing to totally and completely surrender / yield their heart / lives to Him. Yet in our day especially, the requirement of ‘surrender’ brings with it a price tag (cost) that many seem to find too high (i.e. are unwilling to pay). We see this truth manifested by many whose heart are only “partially-devoted” to Him … they are inconsistent in their church attendance (if they attend at all); they hold no discipline of spending daily time with God in His Word and in prayer; they often have a greater comfort in the things of the world than those of the Kingdom (choose ‘good’ over ‘God’s best’), and they practice a lukewarm faith that sadly is devoid of both God’s life-changing power and a spiritual conviction that would signal their dire need to change (repent/return to God). In fact, ‘partially-devoted followers’ are only ‘partially obedient’ in their walk with God, and as Dr. Henry Blackaby shares in his study, Experiencing God, “Partial obedience is still disobedience to God and His Word!” Let’s be clear on the definition of “obedience” – it is an act of submission whereby a person willfully gives up his/her rights or desires and does the will of one who has given a command. True obedience to God is thus measured by our actions/decisions, not by our intent nor by our motives, but simply by what we do (James 2:17). It’s not enough to “want to do what’s right,” or “just desire to obey God;” you actually have to do it! To those who are willing to pay the price of obedience in being fully committed / surrendered to Christ, God then promises to divinely strengthen our hearts in our life journey, “For the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed (‘given themselves completely’ NCV) to Him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NLT) Being fully surrendered / committed to Him – both as individuals and as His Church - is the place where we will experience His divine anointing (manifestation) in and through our lives and where His witness is observed by a watching world who longs to see if this ‘Jesus’ is who the Bible says He is and whom we, as His professing followers, both say and believe Him to be – “King of Kings and Lord of Lords!” (Revelation 19:16) Dr. Henry Blackaby echoes this truth in his book, What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches (1), “Regardless of what we say, it’s what we do that reveals what we as a church or as an individual actually believe about God and His Will for us…The world in our day wants to see God at work through His people, but unless we hear and obey in the things He assigns us (things that only God can accomplish), the world will not experience Him; they will only see ‘religion’ and be turned away!” (pp. 83, 18) Many people today claim to wear the ‘Christian t-shirt’ (i.e. say they have given their lives to Christ in salvation), yet when it comes to being regular (consistent) “doers of the Word” (James 1:22), the streets of faith would seem to empty all too quickly. This spiritual incongruence (i.e. hypocrisy) is spotted much faster by the unbelieving world than by many in His church today who often are simply too prideful to admit this sobering reality/truth. But take heart (“be infused with godly courage”) - throughout His Holy Word we find God’s amazing track record of miraculously working through the ‘faithful few’ (Matthew 22:14) whose hearts have truly been surrendered / yielded to Him. In fact, Dr. Henry Blackaby shares, “When a church realizes it ALL depends on God, not them, and will together yield their lives fully to Him, God begins to work. It doesn’t depend on numbers, status, skills or even resources. The future depends on God and on His people who will hear Him, believe Him and obey Him!” ((1) pp. 29) So today, ask the Lord to help show you two things: where you and your church are – either ‘partially committed’ or ‘fully committed’ to Him? The watching world today awaits your earnest response to BOTH questions … as so does Christ Himself! …Selah!
Today's Spirit-led video is by CCM artist Brian Littrell and can be viewed by clicking on the on the song title of the classic hymn, "I Surrender All" - G3 for His gift of ministry thru music!