11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery
Growing up in the Washington DC area all my life exposed me to a lot of interesting elements. The metropolitan area of Washington is definitely a sports driven town and yes we love football season. We love our Sunday afternoons to be either parked in front of a television or at Fedex stadium at the game or somewhere with access to the game. Yes, the Washington Redskins are my home team and I have been a fan for a long time. (Do not judge me) Now as many of you know , for the past few years, Washington’s record has been subpar to say the least, however I am a true fan. It is interesting how some who say they are true Washington Redskins fans have either left there allegiance behind for another team or have given up hope on our beloved home team. Yes anyone can say they are a fan when your team is receiving all the accolades and on a sure winning streak but when that is not the story- are you still a fan?
I think it is interesting that there are Washington fans that do not live in Washington. In fact, they may live in another city but they are “down” for the Redskins. You may be asking how or why? Well first we must decide on a definition for a fan? A fan, or fanatic, sometimes also termed aficionado or supporter, is a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something or somebody. It is interesting to me with this definition no where does it include in the definition of a devoted fan, that things must be favorable or they must reside in a particular demographic. When we hear the term “fair weather”, it often describes one who only is dedicated when things appear to be ideal.
I am not trying to discuss your allegiance to the Redskins or any other team but to address another issue. It is so easy to get caught up in whether you are a true football fan (for whomever your team is) or not- but the truth is our commitment to God has been proven similar. There is commitment as long as we are on the winning team or we are receiving the benefits. But do we ever stop and really examine what we really are committed too? Is there pure commitment or partial devotion? Just a thought…
We live in an age where accumulating more is considered the norm, wealth and the accumulation of wealth is the status quo, where those that are looking out for self and what they can receive more of are praised. Those that appear to be concerned with their own needs and desires and no more, are the ones that more often than not get ahead. This is a worldly principal that we are seeing more of in the body of Christ (notice I did not say the church). “As long as the church is serving my needs and I feel good, all is well.” Ever heard that before? What seems to be the norm is forgetting the Lord and joining that which makes us feel a certain way.
Ephesians 5:27 says “that Christ when He returns is looking for a church without spot nor wrinkle to present”. This gives evidence to that which Christ is looking for is not the norm. We are living in day and age where many are attempting to treat Christ as one of the home teams. As long as they are on – we want to be associated with them but when things are not as we would like or don’t have time for- we do not put the investment in. In order to grow in body of Christ there must be an investment of our time and submission to His will. It is easy to give lip service to partial devotion due to the lack of deeper purpose beyond oneself. I too, raise my hand to partial devotion at times – when I knew better but did not do better. That is the grace that is bestowed upon us let us not enervate it but learn and evolve into pure committed people.
It saddens me to think, have I gotten so sidetracked with everyday awareness that I have placed Christ in my back pocket and when I am ready to take him out or reconnect with Him, I do. This is how we break his heart- our back and forth as if Washington was playing the Dallas Cowboys tonight (it is actually tomorrow night). Is our allegiance only when we have momentum and on the winning side? Christ desires pure commitment not partial devotion. Are we willing to pursue wholeheartedly the things that please the Father and not do to what we receive? Christ wants our devotion in plenty or lack. As with the Redskins, is the likelihood of not winning due to the standard being set of mediocrity with the team. Commitment must be long term not just for a season or two. It must include an ability to see how things are and still be committed, when everything is not ideal.
The example of the disciples and how they overcame such odds due to their commitment to the cause and not just the person who was Jesus Christ. There belief in the purpose -to set the captives free and in salvation- is what attracted them to Christ and what made them stay was there ability to trust in what they did not see due to His love of them as much as the world.
Pure commitment or partial devotion, ask yourself which do you affiliate with more? Which best describes you?