In my devotions this morning I read a profound note that had been found on the desk of a young pastor who lived in my birthplace, Zimbabwe. It was found after he had been martyred for his faith in 1990. I keep reading it over and over, my eyes, and heart, stopping at different places. My own challenge is to read this daily for a few weeks and let its truths take hold of my life. This is what it’s all about. More than other New Year’s resolutions or hopes or dreams — this is REAL LIFE and all I want for mine.
I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made– I’m a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, rewarded. I now live by faith, lean in His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and I labor with power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions are few, my Guide reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me… my banner will be clear!
(Quoted in Brennan Manning’s the Signature of Jesus; and Catherine Martin, Pilgrimage of the Heart)
The second paragraph gets me every time. What gets you the most? Each time I read this paragraph, a different word catches me and makes me thank God that His Spirit is still at work in my life — I pray that never changes. This Zimbabwean prays that God continues to give me a heart like the writer of this letter –the young pastor whose banner rose high, who was so quickly recognized by His Savior and ushered into the loving Presence of Jesus.