Developing Wholehearted Commitment (Part 2)
Do you consider yourself a fanatic? Well Stephen, I suppose that would depend upon your definition of what constitutes a fanatic. Some have defined a fanatic as one who is excessively enthusiastic; one who is intensely devoted to a person or thing. Isn't that essentially the same thing as wholehearted commitment? If a person is excessively enthusiastic and intensely devoted to sports, then he is a sports fanatic. Christians should desire to be fanatics for the Lord; that is, excessively enthusiastic and wholeheartedly committed to God! Sadly though, many who claim to be children of God do not want to be viewed as religious fanatics. They want to blend in with the world when it comes to religion; they don't want to draw too much attention to themselves by their religious practices or beliefs. They don't want to be viewed as passionate about religion. How tragic!

Clearly there is a double standard when it comes to fanaticism in the minds of many. To be a sports fanatic is okay. To be a fanatic in the business world is acceptable. But, to be a religious fanatic is something most are reluctant to embrace.

However, if we are going to be totally committed to Jesus and His church, we need to become accustomed to the idea of being excessively enthusiastic and intensely devoted to God's will! So what if others think we're crazy! Some considered Jesus and Paul to be crazy (John 8:48ff; Acts 26:24,25). Thus, you couldn't be in better company (cf. I Cor. 11:1)!

It seems that some Christians try to live two different lives: one life on Sunday and a different life the rest of the week. A life that is righteous and holy on the first day of the week, but a life that is devoted to self the rest of the time. What's wrong with this picture? Such a one is not genuinely serving God. Attempts to compartmentalize one's life in this manner are an exercise in self-deception and a recipe for spiritual disaster. The problem is divided loyalty (Matt. 6:24; Phil. 1:21). God wants wholehearted--not half hearted devotion! As Moses declared in Deuteronomy 6:4,5 - "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." He wants us to show our love for Him through obedience to His will every day of the week and through every aspect of our lives! He wants us to be religious fanatics!

Many fail to realize the seriousness of failing to be wholly committed to God. Perhaps this analogy will help: If a husband reserved his romantic love strictly for his wife most of the time, should she be pleased? If he gives her 90% of his devotion and is only unfaithful 10% of the time, is such acceptable? What term best describes this type of partial loyalty? Adultery! Dear listeners, God is no less offended when man offers Him fragments of faithfulness! When one has been immersed into Christ, he has been crucified with the Lord and is no longer to live for self (Gal. 2:20). When one tries to be a Christian and continues messing around with worldliness and self-centeredness, that individual becomes a spiritual adulterer, and God is sickened by such shallow faith and obedience (cf. Rev. 3:16).

Friends, if you are in a covenant relationship with God and you have learned to trust Him completely, then the next step is wholehearted commitment! A pure and undivided heart is the type that the Lord desires. May we all pray for and strive to develop such!