Are You All In?
Isn’t it funny how sometimes it takes God presenting us with the same message over and over before we finally think “Hey, maybe this is for me”? Sadly, that’s what it took for the Lord to get me to actually pay attention to what He’s been trying to teach me lately. It took my hearing the same thing at retreats, church, Bible studies, during quiet time, etc. before I finally said, “Okay God, I’m listening,” but He finally got me there. He’s been consistently asking me the same thing:
“Are you all in?”
My automatic reaction was to say, “Yeah, Man” (I probably call Him “Man” way more than I honestly should). Of course I’m all in. I love Him so much; I go to every church/BCM event possible. I spend time with Him every day, I try my best to disciple girls, and I even manage to invite people to church with me every now and then. I may not be perfect but I’m definitely growing, of course I’m all in! But then the Lord brought two specific verses to my mind and I was instantly convicted:
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Matthew 16:24-25 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
After meditating on these verses I had to ask myself the question once again: “Am I all in?”
Maybe I, and we as the church, need to change our idea of what it truly means to be all in for Christ. For some reason, I feel like we hear these verses and seem to think they mean:
“Serve God as much as you’re comfortable.”
“Live for Him unless it gets hard.”
“Deny yourself a few things, but still hold onto the things you can’t bear to give up.”
How can I sit here and quote “I have been crucified with Christ” and “Take up your cross daily” and think that means that I am to follow Him in such small ways? Going to church, spending time with Him, telling a couple people about Him here and there, and maybe even giving up a few things is not enough.
Being crucified with Christ isn’t a small metaphor, so why are we so content with taking such small steps of obedience and surrender?
We are called to lay ourselves 100% aside, to live fully for him. We are called to live in such a way that shows that we don’t matter anymore. This means we can’t have one foot in His will and one in the world. This means we can’t say we’re clinging to Him when we’re still hanging onto parts of ourselves. This means we shouldn’t only be telling people about Him when we can muster the courage, but should be proclaiming Him at every opportunity even if we’re afraid. This means we shouldn’t be surrendered only when the path is clear and easy, but also when it’s hazy and difficult. This means Him and His Kingdom should not simply be a priority, but my only one.
There should be nothing hesitant or small about my faith, that’s not what He’s called me to.
We have the same Spirit in us that the apostles had. So how can we hear stories about them being imprisoned, persecuted, and killed for His sake, and then we flinch at the slightest sign of discomfort in our own path while following Christ? How can we hear those stories and think we are to take only small steps of obedience?
It’s time for us to shift our expectations. It’s time we stop settling for living for Christ in small ways. It’s time we stop talking about these incredible people in scripture who live their lives boldly for Christ and then settle for less in our own lives. It’s time we realized exactly how called we are.
Lord, I’m sorry for thinking small. I pray that I step wholeheartedly into the life that You have called me to. I pray that I desire to surrender more and more to You and what You have for me. I pray you change my perspective of what “picking up my cross daily” means and that I am able to truly lay myself aside in favor of living entirely for You. Amen.