Chapter 1—The Line

“He [Jesus] said to all, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” – Luke 9:23

Long ago I heard the story of a young man who faced a hard decision. He had grown up in the foreign culture of a different religion but as he listened to a missionary, his heart burned within him. Finally the missionary drew a line in the sand and said, “If you are willing to come to Christ, I want you to cross this line.” 

At first the translator didn’t translate these words. Instead he turned to the missionary and said, “Do you know what you are asking them to do? If any of them crosses that line, their lives are over. Their families will disown them and they can never go home again.” 

“I understand,” the missionary said. And again he announced, “If you are willing to come to Christ, cross this line.” The translator spoke his words and a young man walked up to the line. He stood staring at it for a moment. He knew what that line meant. It meant he could never go back. He could never go home. It meant death but it also meant life—He stepped across the line. 

Before you read any further, I’m drawing a line in the sand as well. But my line is not a decision to come to Christ. It’s a different kind of commitment. I want you to agree to say yes to anything—absolutely anything that God will lead you to do. In other words, “Lord, my answer is yes…Now tell me what you want.” This is a commitment of complete surrender. No holding back.

Are you ready? Take a good look at the line. Does it scare you? 

Is there something in your heart that is already tugging you away from making this statement to God? 

In a way, you could say that this line is like a mirror. A mirror shows you things about yourself that you might have otherwise missed. Likewise, this challenge should reveal a few things as well…Where are you in your walk with Christ? How well do you trust God? Is there an idol in your life or something that is more important to you than your relationship with God? 

If you’re not ready to make this commitment, then I want you to put this book down and spend some time in prayer. There’s something in the “mirror” that you need to see. Wrestle through whatever is holding you back because the life God called you to live is only found in surrender. I also want you to read chapter 2 and then go to the back of the book and use the Appendix as a guide to help. 

Yes, you might be breathing and existing. You might be saved and “heaven-bound” but salvation is more than just eternal security. There’s a life that’s only found on the other side of full surrender. Let’s just say: There’s a life that’s only found on the other side of “death.” 

For those who are ready, let’s continue…

The Agreement:

I commit to do anything that God leads me to do. Make it your pledge…

Dear Lord Jesus, 

This is my pledge: 

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. In any way. 

Whatever it takes, Lord, I want to live for You. 

And be used by You in such a way, that on that final day I’ll hear You say, 

“Well done, my good and faithful servant! Come and share in the joy of your Master!”

May it be so! —Amen*

Did you cross the line?

Then let’s begin…

*Adapted from Saddleback Church’s 25th Anniversary “Purpose Driven Covenant” by Rick Warren, 2003.