Towards the end of the life of Joshua, he gave an ultimatum to Israel. His words were: “…Choose you THIS DAY whom ye will serve.” (Josh. 24:15) He went on to say: “As for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord.” Commitment is a position taken. It is also an attitude to be maintained. It is one thing to begin well, quite another to finish well. How is it that, even among those whose testimonies have not been sterling, we find that they finished well? There are at least two reasons. The first is that they came to realize that FAILURE IS NOT FINAL…unless we choose to make it so by giving up, and giving in. In Proverbs 24:16 we read, “…For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.” Note the word “just.” This man has faith, a faith that will be assailed by the winds of doubt, perhaps of fear…even temptation. But there is a seed in him, a “Righteous Seed,” which will never leave or forsake him. That living “Seed,” the Spirit of God, will seek him to bring him back to faith. He will rise. And when he has regained his feet, he will come to see also that, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation, make a way of escape.” (1 Cor. 10:13) Thus, the second reason for which one can finish well, though one may fall many times, is the fact of the constant, unceasing presence of God, His Spirit, working in him both the willing and doing of His good pleasure. He is NEVER forsaken.
It is a sad commentary upon us as sinners that we often respond to the corrective overtures of God, not out of love for Him, but out of self-preservation, and the desire to avoid all suffering. The great news in the face of this reality is that God IS God, and He never gives up on us, and as Matheson wrote, “…will never let us go.” The Spirit of God is not just seeking to bring us back to God to a right attitude of mind and heart (hence…a revived commitment), He is also working to bring us to a heart attitude whereby the taking our stand once more, regaining our feet, is not done for any other reason than for love and thanks to Christ. This is why the daily worship of Christ is such an essential element to the Christian’s faith, for how shall we have a right attitude of love towards him if we are not overwhelmed by the Person and work of Christ?
One begins this Christian life by revelation…Christ reveals Himself to the heart and conscience, bringing us to the realization of who we truly are with regard to who He truly is. Brokenness ensues, and we cast ourselves on Him to save us, and become our Lord and Savior. Then begins the race, the warfare, the fellowship. Faith is tested, and sometimes falters. But it is the renewed, and expanded by a renewed vision of Christ, the result of “seeing Him in the sanctuary.” He inspires us, and strengthens us to believe. The renewed vision strengthens faith and hope, and the feet are regained. The commitment continues…with more understanding, knowledge, and strength of heart.
Dear Lord Jesus, give us the new and fresh vision of Thyself, as we worship Thee every day. Renew our faith, strengthen our hearts, and fill us with Thy wisdom and knowledge in this race. Grant us THIS DAY, and in THIS HOUR, Thy zeal, Thy focus, Thy balance, so that we may run well, and finish honorably. In Thy name. Amen.