Ivan the Great, Tsar of Russia in the fifteenth century, was a great General and is called the father of modern Russia because he led his soldiers in driving out the Tatars, and consolidating the tribal territories, and acquiring more land than any other Tsar or General in Russian history. He was so busy as a General he never found time to marry and his counselors became quite concerned that there was no heir to the throne. Consequently, he told them to find him a wife.
They traveled the capitols of Europe looking for the right wife. They solicited the royal families and finally found a beautiful young woman by the name of Sophia who was the daughter of the king of Greece. So the contract was made but she refused to marry Ivan the Great unless he joined the Greek Orthodox Church. He readily agreed, the wedding was set and he made his journey down to Greece along with five hundred troops and the palace guard.
His troops also decided to join the Greek Orthodox Church but there was a very difficult problem. The teachings of the church said that no-one could be a member of the church, and be a professional soldier. But they devised a plan to go ahead and be baptized.
As they came to the river and were led into the water in full uniform each soldier raised his right hand holding his sword and kept his arm and sword out of the water! Their bodies and souls were in the church but they held onto the right to take the sword and fight in battles. That part of their life was not committed to the church.
Is there something you’re holding out of the water? Are you totally committed to your life? Or is there something you are holding back? There are three main reasons we need to make a total commitment.
The Mercy of God.
Our motivation comes from what God has done for us. There is no higher motivation. He saved us and gave us joy and peace and the life we have.
Sometimes we complain about the bad things that happen in life. Oh how we need to start listing all the good things God provides!
There is no great victory achieved, no great battles won, unless there is sacrifice and total commitment. Unless there is total commitment, little is achieved.
Motivation is commitment. Motivation is setting a direction and working toward a life goal. There is nothing great to be accomplished in life unless there is commitment. And the greater the commitment, the greater the accomplishment in life.
You do not become a great musician without total commitment to the daily practicing. You do not become a great athlete without total commitment to that calling.
Ty Cobb, of baseball fame, trained daily. Even at the peak of his career, when he was the best baseball player in the world, he still went out for batting practice every day just like a rookie. That is why he was great. There was this total commitment to the goal.
There are no great churches built, no great things done in a city for Christ unless there are some people totally committed.
The smartest thing you can do is to give yourself totally to God. It is very unwise to give yourself to other things – but no one ever made a mistake in making a total commitment, a total surrender to God. This is the reasonable service.
God will not take your boat or your hobby away from you. He wants us to enjoy life. But He just waits for you to say, I’m going to put whatever is keeping me from making a total commitment on the altar. When you put God first and make a complete and total commitment and surrender, He comes to bless you and bless you in a way you could never dream.
That is what God can do for you. However you make your living – whatever you do – you do it to get by, but your business is the Lord’s business! Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service! God will open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing so great you’ll not be able to receive it.
Are you ready to make a total commitment?