A Heart that is Fully Committed | May 30th, 2023
My client walked into the fitness center, ready to begin her workout. I led her over to the treadmill to get her muscles warmed up. We stretched on a supersized mat and then headed toward the weight machines. Not long into her workout, she realized one of her beautiful diamond earrings was missing. Panicked, she and I backtracked all of her steps, scouring the floor, the mat, and all around the treadmill. We had almost given up when something sparkly caught her eye. It was her diamond! We were both so relieved to have found it!
How similar to what it must be like for God as described in 2 Chronicles 16:9a:
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
I can envision God scouring the earth to find the rare treasure of someone whose heart is completely His. Imagine God’s eyes moving back and forth across the whole earth scanning every continent, country, city, neighborhood, street, and home. How difficult it must be to find a heart that is fully committed to Him! Perhaps the angels above are watching, holding their breath in anticipation until that moment when they can joyfully exclaim, “Look! He found one!”
Pride Thrives in Self-Reliance
One of the reasons finding such a person is a rare treasure is because of our pride. We want to do everything ourselves without any thought of including God in our life choices. We strive to be self-reliant and are proud of how independent we are. “Look what I have accomplished! I’m educated, in control of my own life, make plenty of money, people like me, and I am self-confident. I did this all myself, so I definitely don’t need God for anything!”
Self-reliance is like a slow-growing cancer because, little by little, it replaces our dependence on God with our dependence on our own resources and abilities (which we give ourselves full credit for) to achieve goals that are all about “me” and “what will make me happy.”
Relying on ourselves may feel safer and much easier than relying on God because we believe we can control our own ideas and efforts. But self-reliance is limited because we, as humans, are limited. And the truth is, we are not in control. Even our next breath we take is only because God has allowed it! We need God for everything.
Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27
Although great things can be accomplished through our talent and hard work, those who rely on God to work through them will have a much different experience than those who rely on themselves. When we rely on God, we are given freedom to be everything God has planned in advance for us to be and do for Him. He holds back nothing for those with a fully committed heart to accomplish His work, receiving the greatest blessing.
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Jeremiah 17:5-6
When we are self-reliant, our heart cannot be fully committed to God. Self-reliance makes us unfaithful to Him because we do not allow ourselves to need God. As those verses in Jeremiah tell us, there are consequences when we rely on ourselves with a heart of pride and one that departs from Him…
We don’t grow.
We will often avoid opportunities where we don’t think we can be successful. Our growth is stunted when we stay in our comfort bubble. When we rely on God, He gives us the strength and power to overcome the challenges and we can grow to be more confident in Him.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
We are limited.
If we are only trusting in ourselves, we limit what we can do for the Lord because we are not relying on His power. When we trust God, however, He can do incredible things through us that will affect our life on this earth and into eternity. Oh, the rewards that await us for trusting in Him! And He gives us everything we need to be able to accomplish His purposes.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3
We become hopeless.
Like the parched places in the desert, if we do not rely on God we find it impossible to have hope or see any purpose or the good God has for us in our challenges. We can never have enough strength on our own for true victory through our trials. They will continue to weigh us down. Our hope is in Christ, our solid Rock!
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6
The Holy Spirit is Our Helper
To be fully committed to God is not possible in our own strength. That’s why we must rely on the Holy Spirit within us, given to us the moment we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior as inward assurance that we belong to God. With His help, we are able to submit to Him and set aside our own selfish desires in order to serve, honor, and please God. He changes our heart so we will have new, godly desires.
Have you ever wondered why someone can grow up in a Christian home, regularly attend church and youth group, meet with godly mentors, and even read and memorize Bible verses but reject God the moment they graduate and move off to college? They can do all these things, but if they do not have a heart change it will not transform them. Unless our heart is changed by the Holy Spirit, we can hear plenty of good preaching, know the godliest people, and read God’s Word front to back, but we won’t accept God’s truth or ever care to apply it to our lives. We will continue to stay in a state of rebellion and dishonor God.
We Must Deny Ourselves
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
How antithetical this is in today’s self-absorbed society that’s all about me, myself, and I! Even the messages from many pulpits today are all about how you can better yourself, be true to yourself, find your true self, and have more self-worth and self-love. No mention about how our identity is in Christ. That is the only place we will ever find our worth and the greatest love which is through Jesus who gave His own life for us!
One of the topics that was going to be discussed at a recent women’s church retreat I was invited to was “Intimacy with Self.” Are you kidding? We naturally love ourselves more than anything or anyone else! We do not need help with that. What we need is intimacy with God so we can learn to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). Only then will our heart’s desire be to live fully committed to Christ.
To have a heart that is fully committed, Jesus said we are to deny ourselves. What did He mean by that? If we have natural affections (our sin nature) toward anything that would keep us from obeying God, we must flee from them and not allow them to be a part of our life. The pleasures and passions of this world with the lusts of the flesh and the eyes are very enticing, but we cannot serve God and also give in to these things, serving ourselves. We have to choose between one or the other.
Choose Your Master
In Matthew 6:24 Jesus states, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
If we have another master in our life that consumes us and our desires, we will end up hating God. We are a slave to whatever masters us.
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16
God loves us fiercely and He is rightly jealous for us. He will not allow any other master to receive the praise that should go to Him. He alone is worthy because we were created by Him for His glory.
“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.” Isaiah 42:8
When you are fully committed to God and He becomes the one and only Master of your life, you will then find yourself hating the sinful passions of the world. You will know you’ve had a true heart change.
God Strengthens Us
How does God strengthen those whose heart is fully committed to him? When we rely on God instead of on ourselves, the list is endless! Here are a few encouraging ways…
He watches over us and shows us the way we should go.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8
He provides wisdom and is our shield.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; Proverbs 2:7
He upholds us.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
He protects us.
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
He provides a way of escape from temptation.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
He withholds no good thing.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
God is not looking for hearts that are 99% committed to Him. He is not looking for people who say a prayer now and then, show up at church, and scribble a check or give a little time to a good cause and then live how they please thinking that’s “committed.” No, He wants us to be all in with Him. That is what pleases Him. He paid the highest price for us. Our life is not our own. It belongs to Him.
Exactly how we are to die to self and live fully committed to Him is all written for us in His Word. He does not expect us to figure it out on our own. But He does expect for us to search it out in His Word and the Holy Spirit will help us understand and apply it.
What Does a Fully Committed Heart Look Like?
- Quickly responds and reacts to God’s warnings, constantly seeking the path that leads to life, and obediently travels on that path without compromise.
- Longs for the Holy Spirit to dig deep and expose all that is not like Christ for a true transformation into His image.
- Humble and teachable; reads and studies God’s Word with a continual desire to learn more about the knowledge of God and who He is.
- Fully trusting, knowing God is in control of all things, directs our steps, and delights in every detail of our lives. It is a heart that relies on Him alone.
- Broken over sin. It is a repentant heart that is truly changed and desires to do what is right in God’s eyes, grieving over despising God’s Word.
The eyes of the Lord are continually searching for those who have a heart that is fully committed to Him, 100%. May His eye catch something sparkly when He sees your devoted, yielded, and transformed heart – a beautiful and rare treasure in this world!
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