Grace For The Journey
For our final installment on the means of grace that God provides to help us in our walk with Him, we will take a look at the grace of commitments and see if we are plugged into the power of God’s Spirit . . . or unplugged.
Look at what the Bible says in the books of Job and Daniel . . .
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” (Job 31:1)
“Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” (Daniel 1:8)
Here we see two wonderful examples of making commitments to keep plugged into the power given to us out of our relationship with Christ. Job made a commitment regarding lustful looks (a huge problem in today’s sex-saturated culture), making a covenant with his eyes. Daniel was in training to enter the service of Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, having been taken into captivity in Babylon along with many others of the Jewish nation. Part of this training was to eat what was served at the king’s table, but Daniel made a commitment not to eat the king’s food, which would have violated God’s dietary laws.
Job made a commitment
(Plugging into the power of God)
Against his sinful heart.
Daniel made a commitment
(Plugging into the power of God)
Against his sinful surroundings.
We all must make commitments on both fronts: guarding against violating God’s commands due to the sinful condition of our hearts and the sinful condition of our surrounding culture.
How are you doing in the area of commitments?
One of the best ways to approach this means of grace is to identify some areas of weakness in your life and decide in advance how you will deal with these situations when they come up: If you know you have a weakness in the area of lust, why not make the same commitment Job made? Maybe your weakness lies elsewhere; perhaps you need to make a covenant with your tongue and the language you use . . . perhaps you struggle to control your temper . . . or could it be your credit cards and how you spend your money?
When it comes to commitments, we must remember that, by God’s grace, we travel this road in two directions.
In one direction
We abstain – we avoid sinful practices.
In the other direction
We advance – we live in a way that is good, right, noble and pleasing to God.
The Bible provides the right counsel for Christian commitments. In Romans 12:1, the Bible says, “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”
The key that unlocks the door leading to a life of joy, freedom, and power is found in the phrase, “In view of God’s mercy.” It is God’s mercy – not our merit – that is both the inspiration to commit and power to fulfill our calling. This is a great source of encouragement because of our tendency to “fall short,” of what God want us to do – When we fall short, the Bible teaches us that we are completely loved and can be fully forgiven and completely loved.
Plug into God’s power that comes from on-going study of God’s Word, on-going turning to God in prayer, and on-going commitments to surrender to God daily as you begin a new year. That is the greatest need you have for living in, and enjoying, 2018.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”