This was sent to me by a friend--it is by Rick Warren, written on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Saddleback Church. It was meant, evidently, as a charge to himself and his church--this is NOT just something to read and nod our heads and say, "yeah, I'd love to be like that." There is a place at the bottom to sign and date it--and while I urge others to print it and sign it, I also urge you NOT to do so lightly, just to say you've done it. Sign it because you MEAN it, and then commit to living it. Because following Christ, dying to self and living for Him and through Him, isn't something we should just "want" to do, it's something we must make the conscious decision to do. In my own life, this past year has been a process of coming to that point, of saying, "It's time to grow up, spiritually speaking. It's time to quit letting emotions rule, and quit letting satan eat my lunch like some big bully on the playground. It's time to simply say, 'this is where I stand, I can do no other' (quote from Martin Luther) and then press on toward the goal."
In short, I decided that it was time to really make a Radical Commitment, and Rick Warren has worded it as well as I ever could...
I have signed this statement, I have committed to LIVE this statement, and I have posted it on the wall in my office and stuck it in my Bible to remind me...it is my prayer that others will determine to live it too and that God's glory will begin to shine through our lives to a lost and hurting world.
A Call to Radical Commitment
Today I am stepping across the line. I'm tired of waffling, and I'm finished with wavering. I've made my choice; the verdict is in; and my decision is irrevocable. I'm going God's way. There's no turning back now!
I will live the rest of my life serving God's purposes with God's people on God's planet for God's glory. I will use my life to celebrate his presence, cultivate his character, participate in his family, demonstrate his love, and communicate his Word.
Since my past has been forgiven, and I have a purpose for living and a home awaiting in heaven, I refuse to waste any more time or energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting, or faithless worrying.
Instead I will magnify God, grow to maturity, serve in ministry, and fulfill my mission in the membership of his family.
Because this life is preparation for the next, I will value worship over wealth, "we" over "me," character over comfort, service over status, and people over possessions, position, and pleasures. I know what matters most, and I'll give it all I've got. I'll do the best I can with what I have for Jesus Christ today.
I won't be captivated by culture, manipulated by critics, motivated by praise, frustrated by problems, debilitated by temptation, or intimidated by the devil. I'll keep running my race with my eyes on the goal, not the sidelines or those running by me.
When times get tough, and I get tired, I won't back up, back off, back down, back out, or backslide. I'll just keep moving forward by God's grace. I'm Spirit-led, purpose-driven and mission-focused, so I cannot be bought, I will not be compromised, and I shall not quit until I finish the race.
I'm a trophy of God's amazing grace, so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for every day, and generous with everything that God entrusts to me.
To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I say: However, whenever, wherever, and whatever you ask me to do, my answer in advance is yes! Wherever you lead and whatever the cost, I'm ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyway.
Whatever it takes Lord; whatever it takes!
I want to be used by you in such a way, that on that final day I'll hear you say, "Well done, thou good and faithful one. Come on in, and let the eternal party begin!"
What does this mean?
Today, I affirm this commitment to God and submit to his plans and purposes for my life, no matter what it takes.
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on
toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward
in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13b-14 NIV)