"But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!" (Luke 12:50)
Jesus was the personification of commitment, and He is our pattern. We become like the one we hold highest in our hearts. If our heart's desire is to be a disciple of Christ, we must assume His commitment.
As the Holy Spirit gives us more revelation, we absorb more truth. Once this process begins, we can never be the same. Truth extracts from us either a commitment to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, or a decision to desert the whole idea. That is where we are. What we do determines what we become.
The exercise of our spiritual authority and our ability to carry out Jesus' commission is determined by our commitment. We must recognize that real growth and progress is made step by step, following a natural sequence of development. We can't skip some vital steps to save time and effort and still hope to reap the desired result. No bypassing, no short cuts, no pretending, no making impressions, no amount of acting the part compensates for lack of commitment.
If we try to borrow strength from our credentials or personal achievements, we're trusting in the wrong things. Our strength is our internal capacity to deal with whatever the situation calls for, and that capacity comes only through our relationship with God. The deeper our relationship, the greater our capacity.
Discipleship demands discipline. Many Christians aspire to the fruit of the Spirit, but few are willing to relinquish the appetite and passion of their flesh. How can we conquer procrastination, impatience or pride, or how can we control the tongue while we are still slaves to our appetites?
To build a house, we first build a strong foundation. In school we study basic math before proceeding to algebra, and we can't bypass math and algebra if we want to understand calculus. It is the same in our walk of discipleship. Impostors never make it, we all pay the price of progress step by step. The price is commitment. A committed man or woman has a greater opportunity than anyone else to accomplish his or her purpose.
If we want something to happen, we must become totally zealous in our intensity toward that goal. Our commitment must be uncompromising. When that is a reality in our lives, our mission can be accomplished. That was the attitude of our Lord in Luke 12:50.
We may stumble and make mistakes, but that's O.K. Thomas Edison failed his way to success. He used every failure as a stepping stone. Failure did not defeat him, it prodded him to correct his mistake and keep going. Likewise, failure will not defeat a committed disciple. Failure isn't fatal. If we stumble, it is at least proof that we're moving forward.
The key is to keep our eyes on Jesus. It was only when Peter looked at the waves, that he began to sink. While his eyes were on Jesus, he walked supernaturally. So will we.
Jesus is King!
P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?
Question for today: In what way am I still subject to the appetite and passion of my flesh?