Friday, 20 April 2012

Where is my commitment?

The past six months have been pretty tough in many ways. This blog is not a "woe is me" moan but I do want to make a few points about what keeps me going. I have probably come closer to giving up and walking away from what I know God has called me to do than ever before. And as I write that last sentence there is a large clue as to why I keep going.

The Bible is not only the story of God's interaction and intention for mankind but it also gives great principles for our lives. Right the way through the narrative of God's word is a characteristic that is held in high honour but often given too little credence in our fast paced, easy-come easy-go world. That characteristic or virtue is commitment. The Bible will use the terms perseverance or faithfulness in similar contexts.

I look around and see that commitment is a virtue that is often found lacking. It is a virtue I have found lacking in my own life at times. How many times have I committed to losing weight and getting fitter, starting a project that lies unfinished, or even promising to take the kids somewhere and being too busy or too tired to fulfil my promise.

I don't know about you but a commitment is easy to give at the beginning or when things are going our way. Its when the going gets tough that commitment and perseverance are truly tested and seen. We are told that one of the outworkings of love is that it ALWAYS perseveres (1 Cor 13:7). We know that perseverance actually grows character in our lives (Romans 5:3-4).

Perseverance is actually hardest when we have a choice. If I am halfway home on my bike and the rain has soaked me to the skin, everything about me wants to quit but I know that I have no choice, I have to go on. Its much harder if its raining outside and I have committed myself to riding to work to get fit and save money but my car is sat in the driveway taunting me with how warm and cosy the drive will be compared to riding my bike.

What do we do when things don't go our way? Do we hold to our commitments and persevere in them or walk away?

Making a commitment means
  • I can't just walk away from something when it is not going well.
  • Its not so much about what I commit to but about it being part of my character.
  • That if I persevere in my commitments I am becoming more like Christ (2 Thess 3:5)
  • That I am walking in love.
  • If I fulfil them and they are in the will of God then I will receive what He has promised (Heb 10:36)

I have seen too many people not persevere in their commitments when things are not to their liking. I don't want to run away. Just because I feel like it, it doesn't mean that I will. Coming close is actually a miss. Coming close to quitting, in the words of Pastor Matthew Barnett is a good thing because it means we have something to quit from. Coming close to quitting is actually completely persevering in our commitments. So be encouraged if you have come close to quitting but haven't, you are on the right road.

So, to finish, what keeps me going in my role as the senior leader in NCLC?
  1. I fully believe God called me to start, grow and build this church.
  2. Just because things aren't as I want them to be right now, I know they are not what they were but are closer to what they could be.
  3. I have committed myself to seeing the lost become found and the found become disciples. Lives growing in God.
  4. God has given me so much grace that I have to pass that through to other people.
  5. I don't want to be known as a quitter.
  6. I fully believe God called me to start, grow and build this church.

I have a choice, I can walk away but I will keeping going. You have a choice, what will yours be?

Hope this helps.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This is a good blog and will be an encouragement to some people. I also agree that for the most part commitment, perseverance and character are often interrelated but to imply that commitment is always a good thing and quitting is always a bad thing is an oversimplification and would like to make my own observations.

    Please note that my comments do NOT relate to any specific situation.

    1. Commitments can conflict and may have to be prioritised. In other words you may have to quit one cause because of a commitment to a higher one.
    2. Quitting may seem to be the “easy” option but in some situations this may be a veneer and when fully considered remaining committed and persevering is actually taking the line of least resistance.
    3. Sometimes quitting is the right thing to do but it can also be the most difficult thing to do and may take a lot of courage and effort to see through.
    4. It is possible to lose a commitment and effectively quit without giving the impression of quitting.
    5. When in any kind of community an individual’s commitment is a shared responsibility so quitting cannot simply be seen as something lacking in the individual’s character.

    1. `Hi Autumn Observer, thank you for your comments.

  3. Hi Pastor :)) before I give my 2 cents on your post, just would like you to know that I'm totally excited about visiting your church
    coming Sept because of my overseas studies placement at Northumbria University..I'm really excited to immerse myself
    in the anointed worship and leadship which God has graciously blessed your ministry with :)
    While I was reading ur post, the first thing that came to mind is that commitment should not be a form of strive or demand of the flesh when we know that Jesus alone is our commitment, our seal, our cornerstone.. especially when we are conscious that Jesus is the supply of our strength, wisdom and favor because of His unceasing abounding grace towards us :) the demand is not on you but on God alone :) He who wills, will provide :) God performs, God gets all the glory! Dedication is the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit as the result of our intimacy with Christ :) A tree does not strive to bear fruits, it does not strive to survive as long as the tree remains rooted by the rivers of living waters and as long as the tree is conscious of who is the Gardener :)
    The seasons of dryness and weariness is an indication that we should come back to the foot of the cross and allow Jesus to serve us, to wash our feet and to refresh us. He delights when we receive from Him so we should keep receiving from His zoe life. It's the Lord who works through us first before we work out what He has first worked in us :) you are the unceasingly fruitful tree in Christ!
    You are blessed pastor to be leading this church :)) and very blessed to have been chosen by the Lord! Remember it's the Lord who has chosen you for this glorious destiny and if He has chosen you by His grace, He will sustain it and supply all that you need pertaining to life, godliness and ministry, by His grace too :)

    You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I Am], He may give it to you. -- John 15:16 AMP

    You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. -- Psalm 139:5 NLT

    Be blessed Pastor :))

    In His love,

    1. Hi Maddy
      Thanks for your thoughts. Where are you from and how long will you be with us?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hi Pastor :) I'm from Singapore, I should be arriving to Newcastle by Sept 12th :) my course is for 2 years, so I'll be there till end June 2014 :)

  5. There is a great deal of difference between compliance and commitment in church life. You can find people who feel they ought to do things either by unintended pressure or they don't have the strength to say no. Compliance never lasts. Choice and freedom lead to true commitment and also they are the basis to the come through difficult times. The good Arminian in me senses God gives us freedom so he may have our true commitment. Thanks for your thoughts again. J