Hearing the word of God and not putting it into practise is like building a house on an unstable
foundation. (Matthew 7:24-27). The word of God is what gives our faith depth and subsequently the
ability to weather any storm that comes our way. It is vital then that when we hear God’s word, we
take time to understand it then put it into practise in situations applicable to that word. You cannot
just hear the word on a Sunday, comment on how inspirational it was , then forget about it.
If we take pupils in school as an example, we know that they are not just primarily going there to recite to
the teacher what they have a learnt, nor merely to pass an exam. They learn the idea of
conceptualising the information that they are learning so that they can apply it later on in a different
situation when need arises. Even if we take a look at professions such as doctors or lawyers, they
learn the theory of their professions in education, but they must then apply that theory in hospitals
or in the courts. In the same way, as christians, we need to develop the habit of learning how to
reflect on the word and teachings we receive so that we can apply it to our everyday lives. It is a
choice to actively put that word into action. A person with an inability to apply the word of God is
seen by the continuous repeating of the same mistakes.
This current series of teachings revolves around the book of Joshua, mainly focused on the
ultimatum he gave the Israelites to leave their idols, pledge their loyalty and serve the God that had
delivered them from captivity. We then delved deeper by uncovering the importance of
understanding who God is and the power dynamic that exists between ourselves and Him. Following
that, we unpacked the meaning of humbleness and how to surrender before God. With the most
recent teaching looking into walking in the voice of God. Today, the focus will be on commitment and
how Jesus explains it to us.
When we make that declaration to serve God, it means that we have made a conscious decision to
do so. There is often a misconception that if we have no lack we don’t need God. Most see no need
for God, if they are in good health or have amassed a certain amount of wealth. Contrary,
Deuteronomy 8:18 says that God is the giver of wealth. Ecclesiastes reminds us, our reason for living
is not to chase material gain, or the acknowledgment of the world, but it is in fact about worshipping
God (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Nowadays, we choose to worship on our own terms as opposed to the ways
that God has outlined for us. To commit to something requires some form of sacrifice. It requires
giving in to something and prioritising it, forfeiting something else.
Luke 9:57-62 – In this scripture, Jesus is trying to illustrate that true commitment to Him is inevitably
at the expense of something else in our lives. There is ultimately a price to pay. In verse 58, Jesus
reiterates that life in ministry is uncomfortable. One must forgo their creature comforts for the sake
of the gospel. Essentially He was asking the people if they would be committed to reprioritise the
very things they deem important to them and put God and His work first? In Luke 9:62, Jesus uses an
example of someone who takes up the plough and starts to work, but continuously looks back. In this
verse He states that anyone who does that “is not fit for the Kingdom of God”. The act of ploughing
requires a degree of concentration to ensure straight beds. Looking back means that you are
distracted and will prevent you from keeping a straight line. If you continue to look back whilst
ploughing, it demonstrated that your attention is divided between the work you should be doing and
whatever it is that is distracting you. Ultimately anyone with a divided mind is therefore not fit for
the Kingdom of God.
Understanding what following Jesus entails prevents us from attempting to serve Him on our own
terms. We need to realise that worshipping God is a commitment. One we ought to uphold
regardless of challenges or obstacles that may befall us. This understanding will ensure that we
remain focused on the goal even if we encounter potential distractions.
Understanding the context of a scripture will enable you to understand how it can apply to your life.
For example, If we take the scripture from Exodus 19:5 at face value, then it would mean that anyone
can just take that verse and declare themselves a prized possession just like the Israelites. However,
when we put it into context, we know that there is a requirement needed to stay in that favour. One
must faithfully obey the commandments of God and live a life of obedience to be able to be that
prized possession. In the same way, you cannot receive the blessing that comes with commitment if
you lack it. Many christians today are passive followers. They lack active involvement and
commitment to the Kingdom of God. If you feel satisfied with merely attending church routinely,
then you need to re-evaluate your purpose in following God.
Luke 14:26-31 – You have to count the cost of following Jesus. There is price to pay to be a disciple for
Jesus, it is not completely free. It is true that Jesus died on the cross for us, but there is something
that you must prioritise and sacrifice in order to follow Him. To be a child of God is a lifetime
commitment. Let’s reflect once again on the book of Joshua. By choosing to God, it meant that the
Israelites had give up their idols. That was the cost of following God. Ask yourself this, Have you truly
considered what you must leave behind in order to follow God? Today, many are weak in spirit
because they have not accounted for the sacrifice required of them to fulfil the life of a christian.
Most prefer to keep a distance from the things of God, observing from afar as opposed to getting
At the end of the day, God should be your first priority. Understand that in order to make Him your
priority, you need to be committed to Him. Embrace the fact that you will have to give up some
things that you were used to in order to do so. It is not an easy feat, but remember, God is always
with us to strengthen us. There is much to do in the work of God, so make sure that you are more
proactive in His house. Be eager to put into practise all you are learning.