Few Americans have stamped the collective consciousness of our country like Jonathan Edwards. He was an intellectual prodigy, entering Yale University at the age of twelve. And he is buried at Princeton University, where he served as president until his death in 1758. Edwards was the author of dozens of volumes, both theological and inspirational. His biography of David Brainerd has inspired countless missionaries to go all in with God. And it was Jonathan Edwards who sparked America’s First Great Awakening with his sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” But his greatest legacy may be his progeny, which include more than 300 ministers and missionaries, 120 university professors, 60 authors, 30 judges, 14 college presidents, 3 members of Congress, and 1 vice president.
That legacy, like every spiritual genealogy, traces back to a defining moment.
It was Jonathan Edwards’s all-in moment.
On January 12, 1723, Jonathan Edwards made a written consecration of himself to God. He wrote it out longhand in his diary and revisited it often over the years.
I made a solemn dedication of myself to God, and wrote it down; giving up myself, and all that I had to God; to be for the future, in no respect, my own; to act as one that had no right to himself, in any respect. And solemnly vowed, to take God for my whole portion and felicity; looking on nothing else, as any part of my happiness, nor acting as if it were.
Along with his solemn consecration to God, Edwards formulated seventy goals or resolutions that would become the foundation of his faith and practice. Edwards would revisit them once a week throughout his life.
Nothing has changed.
If you don’t hold out on God, God will not hold out on you.
There is nothing God cannot do in and through a person who is fully consecrated to Him. We want to do amazing things for God, but that isn’t our job. That’s God’s job. Our job is to fully surrender all that we have and all that we are to the Lord Jesus Christ. And if we do our job, God will most certainly do His.
So we stand on the same three-thousand-year-old promise the Israelites did:
Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you. — Joshua 3:5
God wants to do amazing things. He’s simply waiting for us to consecrate ourselves.
So what are you waiting for? You are one decision away from a totally different life. It’s now or never. It’s all or nothing. It’s time to go all in and all out for the All in All.
Excerpted with permission from All In: You Are One Decision Away from a Totally Different Life by Mark Batterson, copyright Mark Batterson.