More and more I am seeing something that I call "Sunday Morning Syndrome," that is, people come to church Sunday morning, sing, give, and listen to a sermon but leave with absolutely no commitment. What they do in church stays in church and has little effect on their lives outside of church.
"Commitment" is another way of saying "surrender"-surrender to the will of God. The problem is, most believers have no idea what the will of God is for their lives, and they really do not care what it is.
There are some things that God wants that people do not have to pray about. God wants people to be saved. Once they are saved, He wants them to be baptized. He wants them to be an active member of a New Testament church. God wants them to be growing in the knowledge of His Word. He wants them to give. And, He wants every believer to be telling others about His saving grace. A believer does not have to pray about these things, the matter is already settled.
Outside of these things that God expects of every believer, He has a specific plan for the life of every believer. God's mission was stated by Jesus when He said, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). God's purpose is not to make us happy, healthy, prosperous, or successful. God is more interested in our holiness than He is in our happiness. Since it is God's purpose to seek and save the lost, that should also be the purpose of every believer. God made us all different; we look different, we have different talents and abilities, and we have different physical abilities. Just as we are all different, so God's plan for the life of each of us is also different. God's plan for my life is different than His plan for your life.
I should point out that the plan for one individual life is no more or less important than the plan for anyone else's life. At this moment I am looking at the motherboard inside my computer. The outstanding thing that I see is the CPU but I am also looking at a lot of little different things that I have no idea what they are. I dare say that if I were to destroy one of those little insignificant looking things, the CPU would not be able to work and the computer would shut down. Any of the parts are just as important as any of the other parts. So it is with God's work, anyone's job is just as important as anyone else's job (1 Cor. 12:14-18). It takes everyone doing his part to make it work. God does not have more important jobs and less important jobs, all are equally important. The most important job is the one God has given you to do.
That brings us back to the subject of surrender. When Paul was saved on the road to Damascus he immediately surrendered his will to God. He said, "Lord, what will thou have me do?" (Acts 9:6). Surrender came first, instructions came later. So it is, every believer should first surrender to the will of God and then God will reveal His will a step at a time, sometime a day at a time, and sometime even minute by minute. Although surrender is a one time event, it also must be a day by day experience. Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 9:23).
The next question is, "Why should I surrender my life to the will of God?" There are many reasons but two basic ones. First, when a person is doing what God has called him or her to do, people will be saved. What is it worth to keep a person from going to hell and being there forever? What is it worth for a person to live forever with God? I think we would all agree that if we faithfully served the Lord all of our lives and only one person was saved, it would be worth it all.
The second reason for surrendering to God's will is that there is a judgment coming, not a judgment for salvation but a judgment of the works of the believers. If a person has faithfully sought God's will for their lives, they will receive a reward (Rev. 22:12). The word reward is the same as salary or wage. If you serve the Lord, He is going to pay you for your service. Rewards are not going to be based on accomplishments but on faithfulness. What those rewards will be is the subject of another article, but believe me, serving Him will be worth it!
Would you join me in this prayer? "Lord, I am not exactly sure what your will is for my life today but if You will reveal it to me, I will do it. In Jesus name. Amen." Be careful, don't pray it if you don't mean it.