Commitment is the engine that pulls you across the finish line. No one knows for certain what will happen once they take the first step. However, far more critical to success than knowing Step 2 is resolving to take Step 1. Plans and dreams remain hypotheticals until you make the first move.
I’ve never been stuck on a sailboat without a breeze, but I imagine it’s similar to the feeling of failure or fear that comes when you get stuck on the way to the finish line for a project or dream. I know that feeling.
What was I thinking? What happens now?
That’s victim-speak and presumes that you have no power in the moment, when you honestly do. We forget that refusing to make a decision IS a decision. Most people suffer from too many options, not too few. But often, the option you want most isn’t available.
I want wind. Now.
The Relationship Between Motivation and Commitment
You may as well move on to Plan B unless you control the wind or God kicks up a breeze. You have two options, do nothing or take action. Motivation and commitment are joined at the hip. Do you care enough to do what must be done to get underway?
If you expect the current or tide to land the boat safely, then you may decide that swimming to shore or becoming a Paddle Princess (Prince) isn’t as attractive as enjoying the moment.
You could sunbathe and drink Pina Coladas until your supply runs out, painful blisters from third degree sunburn appear, or you drift to shore. But if precious children or grandchildren are waiting for you, the size of your WHY provides the motivation to break out the paddle and get busy because someone you love needs you now.
Your definition of commitment determines the potential of your dreams. Did you factor in deal-breakers when you started toward you goal or did you resolve to cross the finish line no matter what? Dealing yourself a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card at the onset is one hulking ball and chain fastened to your ankle. Giving yourself an out-clause is preparation for failure, not success. Total commitment neither accepts nor acknowledges excuses.
Roadblocks to Achieving Your Dream
Let’s review the four stumbling blocks covered in this 6-part series:
- Temptation of Comparison
- Lack of Commitment
- Working Outside of Your Giftings
Commitment is the elixir that transforms inability into ability and rejects the temptation of comparison. You may have heard commitment called by another name—heart. In competitive events it’s often the person with the most want-to that wins, not the one with the most raw talent.
Goal Achievement — Spiritual Tenacity
There are two parts to God’s calls to ministry, business, or other ways you multiply the talents or gifts He gives. The first is to the thing itself, the what of the call. The second is your response to it.
“Many are called, but few are chosen.” — Matthew 22:14
The gospel call is for everyone but the response is far from complete. When God asked in Isaiah 6:8, “Who will go for Us?”, it wasn’t a question for Isaiah alone, but he was the one who answered.
There are two reasons why people don’t close the gap between where they are today and the finish line. The first is failing to cross the starting line and begin the race. They prepare. Consider. Research. Talk. Look. Imagine. But they never take the first committed step in the right direction because they aren’t certain that the Holy Spirit called them or haven’t decided if they care enough about the call to commit what’s necessary.
Spiritual tenacity means intentionally walking forward on the certainty that God will not forget, fail, or abandon you on the mountain or battle He assigns to you.
If God casts a vision for you that you can’t walk out today, press on spiritually. You may be in a time of purification or refinement and the starting line is in the future. Consider if there’s a habit, task, or relationship that must be completed or left behind before you can step forward.
God Proceeds in An Orderly Manner
You won’t receive Step two until you take Step one and God won’t provide for the second mile until you complete the first. Don ‘t be afraid of the first step but never discount its importance. Most feats, missions, or miracles begin with some mundane action. To paraphrase Zechariah 4:10, never dismiss small beginnings.For example:
- “Arise and eat.” (1 Kings 19:5)
- “Rise, let us be going.” (Matthew 26:46)
- “Stretch out your hand.” (Matthew 12:13)
- “Arise, shine.” (Isaiah 60:1)
God provides what is necessary for every vision He casts — the purpose, potential, and power. Abraham, Moses, and King David believed God could and would do what He promised. Nothing has changed, because you and I serve the same Master they did. The Lord goes before you and also comes behind you (Isaiah 52:12).
- Jehovah Jireh — The LORD will provide.
- Jehovah Nissi — The LORD is my banner.
Commitment—How Powerful Is Your Engine?
Commitment is rare. It’s the heart of a mother who refuses cancer treatment that would hurt her unborn child. In other times or places, it’s the dedication of the husband and father who journeys hundreds of miles from home for months or years on end to provide for his family, sleeping alone but for the constant presence of His Lord.
It is the endless toil of caring for a spouse after a stroke, a paraplegic child injured in an accident, or milking cows in freezing cold because there is no Plan B. It’s showing up every day, keeping every promise, and welcoming God as your managing business partner.
- No reserve.
- No regret.
- No matter what.
When You Just Don’t Care EnoughI love roasted Brussels sprouts. Until I tried them in a restaurant I thought I didn’t like them. Wrong. They were crispy and savory, impossibly creamy and crunchy at the same time. They were SO good that I made them at home. Mind you, I don’t cook. I told my husband that the day I met him and I haven’t changed my mind since. But I loved those sprouts. I found a simple enough recipe and gave it a shot. They were good! Okay, if this was all it took to enjoy impossibly creamy crunchy Brussels sprouts them I would make them myself. I did. Four times. Each batch was worse than the last. Making roasted Brussels sprouts is harder than I thought. I have no plans to try again because I know two dining establishments who offer what I want. Bottom line: I just don’t care enough to put in the effort to figure out what I did wrong. If your commitment isn’t greater than the effort required to accomplish a goal, consider changing goals. Ultimately our plans must parallel what God expects or we’ll walk a hard road. There’s no shame in backing out of a commitment to yourself (big difference if you made it to someone else) if the payoff isn’t worth the effort.
What’s Keeping You From Success?Is your progress toward victory hampered by inability, comparison, or a commitment issue? What’s left you in the doldrums, dead in the water, if it’s not a lack commitment? The next article in this series discusses the fourth stumbling block, working outside of your giftings.
Achieve Your Dream Series
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