All In

To be all in is originally a poker term meaning to bet all you have on one hand. But in modern lingo, it can also mean to be totally committed to something. I guess we could use God and Jesus as an example. When it came to saving the world, they were ALL IN.

The opposite of all in would be all out, right? So in other words, a person who is all in is committed no matter what, while a person who is all out is not involved, hands up, stepping back, with a look of “this isn’t my deal.” That leaves us with the person who isn’t either–what are they?

The Bible calls them lukewarm and double-minded.

You know, neither hot or cold–somewhere in the middle, tossed about with every wave of the sea.

“Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open” (James 1:7-8, MSG).

I don’t want to be like that. I don’t think you WANT to be like that either. But the question is, are we? Are we ALL IN? In other words, not just in one area, but in every area. Are we really committed to throw in all our chips on this thing called Christianity? If we are, then we don’t neglect time in prayer or God’s Word; we faithfully gather with other believers to worship and grow together; we stand up for righteousness in the market place; we’re unashamed of the Gospel of Christ and unashamed to speak His Name; we don’t pick and choose what fits our personality, but instead promote all, attend all, and support everything that will add to and sharpen our faith and lead others to the same.

If we’re not, then we look like most of the world.

You might be thinking, “I can’t be that committed–I have a life outside of the church.” OK. Then are you all in when you want to be and all out when it’s convenient? The only point I’m trying to make today is we might not be as ALL IN as we think we are.

I counsel a lot of people, both in formal and informal settings. And I’m always surprised at how each person wants their problem area fixed but don’t realize how all the other small decisions around them effect the success or failure of the very thing they are seeking help with. I recently asked one person a random question about something non-related to their problem, and immediately I got a wall and a stubborn answer of no, I’m not into that. But from my perspective, they needed what this other thing could offer because it’s part of the infrastructure of how God adds to our life.

She wanted to be all in, but really she was all in with limits.

I hate to tell you this, but it doesn’t work that way. And it’s why a lot of people can’t seem to get victory. And before you throw stones, I’m not talking about living down at the church or killing yourself with an unreasonable schedule. I’m talking about heart issues. Jesus invested all His holdings at once, taking the greatest risk possible–because He believed and trusted the Father’s judgment that we were all worth it.

I think we have to approach things that way too–believing and trusting God and His Word, even if it looks risky. AND I’ll add… that means trusting in the mentors He has placed in our lives to help us grow. And if they say, BE ALL IN, then we need to be ALL IN! Sometimes we look at someone else’s life and think they don’t understand our struggles. But what we forget is that somewhere before we came along, they had to make a decision too: be all in? or be half-in, lukewarm, and double-minded? I’m pretty sure if we’re talking about a true mentor, they didn’t take the easy road. They qualified to be our mentor because somewhere, long before we knew them, they made a decision to be ALL IN.

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