Margaret Thatcher left her mark on history as the conservative, no-nonsense Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, the only woman to have held that position. She joined Ronald Reagan in fighting the Cold War and enacted free-market reforms in her beloved Britain. Her tough-talking style earned her the nickname “Iron Lady.”

Baroness Thatcher developed a “no turning back” commitment in her life. She entered office during a time of difficult economic decline. Sound familiar? Her solution was to reduce government intervention, stimulate free-markets and encourage entrepreneurism. It worked but not without a fight. During a 1980 Conservative conference, Thatcher said to her wavy political constituents, “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.”

Ruth, the young Moabite woman found in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1, was not for turning either. When faced with a crossroads in her life, she made a powerful commitment to her mother-in-law Naomi and to her God.

But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. Ruth 1:16-18

You might have recited Ruth’s words at the marriage altar. Marriage is a “no turning back” commitment that a man and woman make to each other in the presence of God, family and friends. The bride and groom pledge their solidarity by vowing, “For better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.” Divorce is not an option for couples who adopt a “no turning back” commitment to their marriage.

Some say that America is at a crossroads as Great Britain once was. Will we maintain our commitment to the vision of the Founding Fathers? Will we choose to embrace the Judeo-Christian values that formed the foundation of our great nation? And what about our free-market economy and the entrepreneurial spirit that drives it? Will we shrink back from it and move toward socialism and more entitlements? Indeed, we are at a crossroads that requires commitment, tenacity and resolve.

More important than America’s future is a “no turning back” commitment to following Jesus. One day a man pledged to follow Jesus. However, first he wanted to go back and bid farewell to his family. Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

Do you possess a “no turning back” commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ? The lyrics to an old hymn say it well. “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back.”

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