We've met a lot of serious Christians in our life so far ... people who at one time genuinely wanted God and his plan for their life, but who have now fallen off the bandwagon of following Christ.
It's painful to see people you know who once loved God passionately, but who now have disconnected from the local church, and live in various kinds of blatant sin, and who now lack genuine faith or love for the Lord.
There have been plenty of buddies in Bible college with whom I loudly sang alongside: "Lord, I give You my life." Whatever happened to that? Did they really just mean, "Lord, I'll give you a few years?" That's what has transpired.
I've also watched some of the most radical Christian leaders I've ever known stunt or kill their own ministries by moral failure, theological error, and leadership blunders: primarily by pride. The ancient Church leader Augustine said: "Since pride was the root cause of the fall. Therefore humility must be the first Christian discipline." I've been growing increasingly disappointed when I see influential leaders with an air of pride and arrogance. If we don't have humility, we are completely missing our Christian foundation.
Being faithful to God over a lifetime is greater than being radical for a season.
Mother Theresa, who exemplified faithfulness in serving the poorest of the poor, in ways I don't think you or I can really fathom, said: "God has not called us to be successful, simply faithful."
What are we aiming for? Success? Prosperity? Ministry influence? Or is our goal really to be faithful to our Lord, and to joyfully fulfill His will for our lives? The first options are likely to lead to disappointment. The last is what we are called on this earth to do.
God wants our lives, not just our songs or our tithe, and certainly not just a few years. Show God your heart by how you faithfully pursue falling in love with Him over a lifetime. This is the radical call to discipleship, and the banner of true encounter with Christ that a desperate world is eager to see.
I'd love to hear from you: what are some of the things that have kept you close to God?