Our commitment to God should be rooted and grounded in the fact that God loves us. God has done all things necessary and sufficient in order to maintain a relationship with his creation. As his creation, we have no right to withhold our loyalty and commitment from God due to a set of particular circumstances. We often excuse ourselves due to adverse conditions.
“If only my boss did not micromanage me, I would be more inclined to work harder.”
1 Peter 2:18-19 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
“If only people would stop taking advantage of me, I would have a better attitude.”
1 Peter 3:8-9 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
“If only the brethren were more friendly and the preacher not so longwinded, I would assemble more often with the saints.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
“If only my family were more open to religion, I would become a Christian.”
Matthew 10:34-38 Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
If people waited for the perfect circumstance in order to be agreeable in accomplishing any task, nothing would be accomplished at all! Just from these few examples, it is evident that God has expectations for His believers. He expects us to serve Him and even others when it is inconvenient.
Of the four examples above, it is easy to look at the first two and understand that nobody likes to be micromanaged and nobody wants to be taken advantage of. Most would look at these four examples and attempt to qualify the first two and be willing to admit that the last two are selfish or self-serving. This kind of reasoning is what gets us into trouble. We are more selfish than we care to admit. All four examples show an unwillingness to do something if our own conditions are not met. This type of attitude is not Christ-like. It is a worldly mindset, and it will influence our view of God. We expect God to fit our mold and that is certainly not how God operates. He does not accept this idea that we only submit to Him upon our own conditions. Our salvation is conditioned upon His principles and instructions, not ours.
If we do not condition ourselves in being willing servants of God, we will transition into the point of no return (Hebrews 6:4-6). We can come up with all the excuses in the world of not serving God or others. What happens when those excuses are removed? This will now show the true intentions of our hearts. That we stubbornly refuse to do anything if it doesn’t benefit us. A term that comes to mind is narcissistic. One of the things that you may recognize with a narcissist is that they seek attention and want people to admire them. If they are not the “center” of the room, they will do anything within their power to gain control of it. We must be careful to not exhibit these kinds of behaviors.
Now I want you all to understand that this is not the end of the world. This simply means that we need to get back to the basics when it comes to being a Christian. Peter wrote to Christians explaining that they already knew what was right to do, but he wrote them again to remind them of these things. This was for their protection and care for their souls. (2 Peter 1:12-15)
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. The world often views humility as one of the least attractive things in the world. More often than not, the ancient Greeks views humility as a fault and not a virtue. If men were patient instead of demanding, then that showed weakness! There is no doubt in my mind that there were many men who struggled with these instructions by Paul and that is still true today. It is safe to say that most people only do things when certain criteria are met. Do not be so stubborn in refusing to submit to God by waiting for the “right time” or “perfect conditions”. Submit to God today and start your spiritual journey towards heaven.