February 20, 2015
I know many people don’t like billboards. They clutter and block the landscape and often have trashy or ridiculous messages. But I do like some of them … the ones that make me laugh or challenge me to think more deeply or differently about something. I saw a billboard the other day with a message that was exciting to consider. It pictured a young Marine in full military dress, standing at attention, staring out into the future. The caption read:
“Are you ready to commit to something greater than yourself?”
I’m sure this sharp advertising slogan has persuaded many young men and women to enlist. It’s really a high-impact message. And while I’m decades beyond the age limit and too old to consider driving to the nearest recruiting station to enlist, I was energized and influenced to consider why I only joined Air Force ROTC in college instead of enlisting fulltime.
Why is this slogan so compelling? That’s easy. Without a doubt, we are created by God with a divinely implanted need … a longing to commit to something greater than ourselves … to commit to God. We were born with an emptiness in our lives and a desire for what John Eldridge calls the Sacred Romance.
Unfortunately, this desire-gone-bad is at the root of many sinful ways, actions, psychological struggles, insecurities, and maladaptive or addictive patterns. In response to our desire to commit to something big that will elevate our power or status, Satan has sent us numerous false options and suitors. These impostors look good on the outside. They bring a little feel-good to the party. They have a fast start, but fizzle when it really counts. They ultimately backfire, leaving us wounded and worse off than when we started.
The reality is that everyone commits to something. Guaranteed. No escaping it. But, unfortunately, most of the time it is either something of ourselves (think feelings, agenda, control, comfort), or of the world (think power, attention, status, credentials, money, materialism, kids). Not one of these has our ultimate fulfillment in mind; none has power over everything else, loves us unconditionally, knows the future, or has the ultimate game plan for our lives at its fingertips. But God has all of these and more!
Today, ask yourself this simple but key question, “What have I committed to … really?” This is where you can see the importance of your decisions. Look at your decisions. Each one you make shows what you committed to in that moment. You will be amazed at how many of your real commitments, I mean on-going commitments, are all about you. Are you ready to commit to something greater than yourself? With this true, intentional, lasting, and disciplined enlistment in God’s family/army will come peace, purpose, power over the destructive forces of this world, and a divine appointment with the King of Kings. It’s right at your fingertips. Whether you enlist in God’s victorious army or you choose to join any other lesser and defeated army is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I commit myself to You, a power not only greater than myself, but greater than anything in the multi-verse. There are so many forces working against me. Thank You, Father, for Your Holy Words that promise Your peace and “rest on every side”. Give me vision, wisdom, and courage to recognize the impostors, to turn away from them and commit to you early and often. I pray in the name of the one You sent to recruit and free me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
They took an oath to the LORD with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side. 2 Chronicles 15:14-15