Psalm 37:5-6 – Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
At times it can be hard to stay committed to our Lord. It is difficult because we don’t always see the benefit of our faith. We know that God loves us through Jesus but we still have struggles in this life. We have problems and stress that we face on a daily basis. We feel burdened and weighed down rather than feeling joyful. We hear about how other Christians are enthusiastic because of the gospel in their hearts but we don’t always feel the same way.
We think that if we are more committed to God, then the blessings will come. Then we work hard to serve God in various ways. But then, the blessings don’t come. What happened? Did we do something wrong? Were we not committed enough? We trusted in him. We committed our way to him. It doesn’t feel like our righteousness is shining like the dawn. We need to understand God’s way of looking at our commitment and even our righteousness. It is a human idea to think that we can achieve righteousness or that we can commit ourselves to God through our own ability.
Let’s look at the example of Abraham. Abraham was committed to God. Abraham trusted in God. But where did that commitment and trust come from? It wasn’t from Abraham. It was worked in Abraham by God. God came to him and gave him the promise of a Savior. He promised Abraham that one of his descendants would be the Messiah that would save this world from sin. He also promised Abraham that he would be the father of many people. Abraham trusted the promise.
Even though Abraham was committed to God, he still sinned along the way. Abraham was promised a son but after a long time he decided that he was going to fulfill the promise in his own way. His wife Sarah was barren. Sarah and Abraham decided that he should have a child with Sarah’s maidservant Hagar. Abraham and Hagar had a son named Ishmael. God had to come to Abraham and tell him that Ishmael was not the promised son. Later, God personally visited Abraham and Sarah to tell them that they would have a son. Sarah laughed because of their age. But a year later, the promise was fulfilled. Isaac was born.
Abraham had faith in the promise of God. This faith was worked in him by God. Because of that faith in the promised Messiah, God credited righteousness to him. Abraham’s righteousness wasn’t from himself. We can see that because of his sin. Through faith in the Messiah who would win forgiveness, Abraham was credited with forgiveness. That righteousness led to Abraham living his life of faith. We highlight Abraham as an example of faith not as an example of perfect living. Only Christ was perfect.
After Abraham had Isaac, God tested his commitment. God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham was so committed that he was going to do what God asked. He rationalized that even if he went through with it, God had the power to raise Isaac from the dead. God saw his faith and did not have him go through with the sacrifice. In our lives of faith, as we are committed to God, there are times when we make sacrifices. It could be any number of sacrifices. One example would be sacrificing our personal time so that we can serve a fellow Christian.
We need to remember our commitment and our righteousness in the proper sense. They are not about how well we serve God so that he continues to bless us. Rather, they are worked in us by Christ. They are about how much God has done for us. He shows us his commitment to us. He was righteous in our place. He works faith in us which gives us his righteousness credited to our accounts. Motivated by his love, we are committed to him as we live our faith.