The Lord God seeks honesty from us when fulfilling our commitments to Him. Our calling on the Lord which reveals His will to us is the basis for our commitments. He makes us commit to Him through His wisdom and guidance. When He tells us exactly that which we ought to do, He is leading us to a commitment. People that make commitments which are not from His wisdom and guidance will not do justice for them. They either fail to uphold them or fulfill them by ways that are foreign to Him. Their hearts are not wholly devoted to Him. Truly, they have made commitments based on the knowledge of the flesh than of faith. By this I mean they improvise commitments as they see others fulfilling their God-given commitments; or, they do them for personal glory. On the other hand, when believers’ commitments are born of Him, they exhibit the truthfulness He desires. They remain honest to them in all circumstances. It is by their fear of Him and their utmost love for Him.
When we fear and love the Lord God with all our heart, we disdain everything that tries to sway us away from fulfilling our commitments. We are being conscious of what the Lord desired from us. The things that try to influence us away from our commitments come from within us, and we ought to be careful. Ananias was someone who was not careful “and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 5:2). The Lord is very serious regarding commitments, because He gives them to His people for His glory. And when some improvise them and then disregard them by the impulses of their heart, they are not of faith. As they give in to temptations, it is impossible for them to fulfill commitments. They become quitters. Ananias and his wife quit before the Lord and chose to deceive Him to cover it up. They are an example to all those who have their commitments from the Lord. Do not intend to quit and then choose a way to cover it up. True believers will never do it. Their fear and love of the Lord overcome the impulses of their heart. Obviously, Ananias and Sapphira’s faith was not on par with Barnabas or the others. They believed in the Lord, but only according to the flesh. Therefore, they did not see fit to realize that the Lord is indeed watching them. The Lord did not force them to sell their property, but they sold it for personal glory. It was never the Lord’s will for them to sell their property; for He knew they would not act out of fear and love toward Him and reap the consequences. But to the rest it was His will, because they were of faith.
The lesson is if we are not of faith, our commitments are not from the Lord and we fail. Again, if we are failing in our commitments, we are not of faith. So, the first thing we ought to do is examine our faith; see if our commitments are from the Lord and that we did not make them for our personal glory. But, if you are without commitments and yet, are with faith, seek Him and He will avail them to you; or, if you are with commitments, do not seek to break them. “Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?” (Rom. 7:1). As you made Christ your law and have known Him, He has jurisdiction over you. For as long as you live He empowers you to fulfill His commitments to you. You have given yourself to His authority and you will allow Him to decide how you fulfill your commitments. You will not seek ways to fulfill them. Yet, you will constantly see the Lord making ways for you to fulfill them. You will reap joy at the keeping of them. Moreover, the Lord will have the mind and compassion to honor you.
Imagine if Ananias and Sapphira were of faith and kept their commitment. The Lord would have used them as He did Barnabas or in some manner equivalent to Barnabas. We know from the Word the kind of man Barnabas was for the Lord. And He would also use you for His glory. There is no way in heaven or on earth that He would set you aside. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough” (Gal. 5:9). You will be that little leaven for His kingdom. You will start off small, but will grow beyond any man’s imagination. The Lord will turn the tide for you. Once you have begun fulfilling your commitments to Him, be careful that you do not fall back. For the weakness of the flesh will entice you to embrace the impulses of your heart. Be courageous to obey Him and pull yourself to trust Him. Let the fear and love of God dwell in you at all times; for there is not a man on earth who is not tempted by the schemes of the devil. Yet, he who has his eyes fixed on the Lord will survive. And you will survive, since your commitments are not your own. In fulfilling them the Lord will plan all things in your life and then have ways to sustain them.
By leading you to commitments the Lord produces a magnificent message from you. “All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death” (1 John 5:17). The Lord’s patience and compassion flow in you. By them you lead many to His fullness. He has done it with John, even all His disciples and He did it through commitments. He intends to do the same with all believers. A sin committed by a person in ignorance and weakness will not lead him to death. The Lord uses you through your commitments to exercise His patience and compassion. You pray for him. Similarly, He also reveals through you that there is a sin leading to death. It is one not washed in His blood. The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was one such sin. They were never of faith, although they appeared to be brother and sister in Christ. Peter understood it through the Holy Spirit and so, did not exercise patience and compassion. You too will have the same guidance; for He defines unrighteousness to the unwashed by empowering you to live in righteousness. You do not do the things of the world and thereby, deliberately point to them their sin. Your commitments to the Lord determine your way of life and the power in it, which is of the Lord. You will lead a people for God after you. Hence, Paul said, “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Cor. 2:15).
Because you fulfill your commitments to the Lord, you continually do good deeds. There is nothing else you could do. You manifest God among the people that need Him and fulfill the work of Christ. Therefore, the promise of God remains for you just as it has been to all who were and are a fragrance of Christ to Him. “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment” (John 5:28-29). Your toil, suffering and waiting on the Lord will not be forgotten. Your ultimate joy is the resurrection of life; for in it there are untold heavenly rewards. This is the Lord’s aim when He gives you commitments. So, fulfill them at His behest.
Finally, remember that the basis for the Lord to lead you to make commitments to Him and to empower you for them is in keeping the following. “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND” (Matt. 22:37). As long as you do not come short of it, you will quicken the glory due God.