I shared in the previous post the message of the Call to Commitment that we as followers of Christ are called to walk in. After I delivered this word to the church, the Holy Spirit came upon me in a powerful way. As I sat there, He began to speak to me that for the people in the church this message would cost them much more than it would ever cost me. He said that this would even cost some of the hearers their very lives. As the Lord spoke this to my heart, I began to cry and be moved in my spirit for the people.
Here in India, Hinduism is predominant, and Christianity is the minority. It is legal to be a Christian; however, it is against the law to share your Christian faith. This being the case, we are international lawbreakers!!! For us, the worst thing that would happen to us is that we would be deported. However, the nationals we minister with every day, face much more life changing consequences. They can be fined, beaten, imprisoned, or even killed in keeping with the law. This persecution causes the people here to make a complete commitment to Christ every single day fully knowing the cost of their actions. In America, often we will face the “persecution” of people mocking us, calling us names, saying mean things to us, treating us poorly… Here, when the people turn from hinduism or islam (both of which are much more prevalent than Christianity) they will be completely disowned from their family and possibly village. This along with physical persecution causes Indians to truly understand the cost in following Christ before coming to Him. By the time they are willing to come to Him, they know that there is no turning back and give themselves completely to His service.
In spite of all this persecution, the church in India is growing and thriving in a mighty way. Too often, in the US, we will make the half-hearted commitment to the Lord and easily turn back from doing the great things for Him that we were all designed to do before we were born.
How would each one of our lives be different if our commitment was true and full; and no matter what happened to us, our families, or our lives, we pressed in and were completely committed and obedient to the Lord???
What would the day to day changes be, in full commitment to Christ, that would cause us to be “persecuted” in our school, work, and even church?
When we seek to be committed to the Lord in such a way, the enemy will come in and try to make us do far less than the great exploits that Daniel spoke about. The devil will try to use anything he can to keep us from being fully committed and doing great things for the Lord. These are just three key lies the enemy has used against great men of God to keep them from being used greatly.
3 Lies that Make us Ineffective
- Too young (Jeremiah 1:5-10) Here, Jeremiah buys into the lie that he is too young to do what God is calling him to. God encourages him that He will be with him and do great things. The rest of this book proves the great things Jeremiah does when he overcame this lie and committed fully to the Lord.
- Past sins that are too horrible (Jonah 3:4-10) Jonah gets a call from the Lord and simply does not want to do it. He runs from the Lord, and his heart is so hardened against the Lord that it takes three days in the belly of a fish before it is softened enough to repent. Jonah grudgingly carries out the command of the Lord and offers a simple eight word proclamation to Nineveh. As a result, over 120,000 people turn to the Lord and the whole city is saved. God used him in spite of His unwillingness and blatant disobedience. In the same way, God can and will use you if you are committed to Him no matter what the past held for you.
- Excuses, Excuses (Exodus 3-4) When God comes and supernaturally speaks to Moses, Moses gives Him any and every excuse that he can come up with. He says “I am nobody,” “I cannot speak,” and “Use someone else”. God continues to destroy all of these lies, and Moses is used to free an entire nation of people.
Sadly, people are so steeped in the wisdom of this world that even in the church, they can rely on their own insights and miss the wisdom of the Lord. When we were preparing to go out on this mission we knew that God had clearly given us a word to “Go”; however, there were many good Christian people that advised against it. These counselors knew us and wanted the best for us, but I understood later that they had no investment in our lives. The people that we called to pray and fast with us for a week, all gave us the confirmation that we were to go. The ones that listened fully to how God had called us and the word that He had spoken to us understood and have encouraged us along the way. The Lord had called us and we had to choose whether to follow Him in full commitment or to do what made sense. We do not know yet the full outcome of our obedience, and I pray that we are always able to follow Him in what he calls us to do no matter how others will end up treating us. In the end, we have been obedient and the Word of God has gone forth. Whatever things that come from this mission, whether great or not, we know that we have been obedient to the Lord.
I pray that you are encouraged to be committed no matter what the cost may be or the tests that may come. Whether we are ever tested as the Indians are or not, we must stand as truly committed followers of the Lord no matter what!!! We are designed to truly carry out great and mighty things. James 5:17 tells us that Elijah was man just like us. There is no difference between us and this great man of God. Wherever he came from and whatever the Lord took him through, he stood the cost of commitment, and God did great things through him. For us, the choice is the same as every one of these men in the Bible. Leonard Ravenhill said once that sometimes “the enemy of the best is the good.” We can do many good things, but if we settle for these because they are easier or require less of a commitment, we are not doing the best that God has for us!!! You have been created the best, by the Best, for the best!!! Never settle for only the good, press in for the very best!!! Never back away from your commitment!!! Always stand for the Lord in every situation!!!
Are you conquering the lies of the enemy that will hold you back from being truly committed to Him?
Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any lie that has caused to you settle for less than the best He has for you. Examine the cost of following Him into the great things He has for you and ask Him to strengthen you to walk in the very best ways!!!
The promise of the Lord is that if you are completely committed to Him you will be strong; and just like Daniel, Jeremiah, Jonah, Moses, and Elijah, you will do great things!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!