Are You All In?

What will it take for us to be all in?

When God’s truth starts sinking in, resonating deep within our soul, we get it. We no longer serve God out of obligation or duty to perform. But rather, we are changed. We respond to God out of love for what He has done for us. And when we are fully, radically, saturated with God, we obey. Not because we have to. But because it is what we long to do.

As believers, God is calling us to be all in. To give our lives in complete surrender. To allow Him full access to the deep, dark recesses of our soul in order to do a transforming, life-altering work. It is through our challenging circumstances and desert experiences that God creates a thirst that only He can satisfy.

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?”

Psalm 42:1-2 (ESV)

God lives in you. He wants to use you to bring glory to His name. Yet, we all wrestle with the plague of an uncommitted heart. We give our attention to a thousand other things before we give our attention to God. Our time. Our energy. Our money. Our love.

Anything but God.

How sad.

Throughout Scripture we read accounts of people who gave their lives in complete surrender. They willingly gave God their all, realizing there may be a cost to pay. However, they didn’t wrestle with the odds. They didn’t hold back. They waded into the deep water regardless of what others would say, and sometimes that meant going it all alone.

In 1 Kings 18:20-41, we see a story of Ezekiel challenging the worshipers of Baal. He asked an imposing question, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.”

Startling, really, to think how penetrating this question is for us still to this day. How long will we go limping along? Will we choose God or the things of this world? To be honest, there is no in-between.

As much as we would like to relate to Ezekiel in the story, in reality, we are much more like the worshipers of Baal. We chase after the things of this world. We seek after temporary things. Things like approval of others and looking young and beautiful and stock piling money in the bank. Oh the things we chase which provide only temporary relief.

Elijah challenges the 450 prophets of Baal to place a bull upon the altar. However, rather than setting it to fire, they were asked to call upon the name of their phony god. And for hours they called and called and called. To the dismay of the prophets, nothing happened. There was dead silence on the other end of the phone.

Elijah then builds his altar, placing the bull upon it. Astonishingly, he soaks the sacrifice in water. When the meat is super soggy and overflowing with water, He calls upon the name of the Lord. God answers his prayer and sends down a fire from heaven, fully consuming the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust. Not a lick of the sacrifice remained, nor did any water remain in the trench.

“And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” 1 Kings 18:39

I wonder what it will take for us to believe. What will it take for us to be all in? Being a disciple of Jesus is not always easy. There will be times when you will be left standing alone. And the thought of alienation sends many of us running. We avoid the call of the Lord. We think the cost isn’t worth it. We weigh the odds. And the thought of surrender holds us back. We’re not convinced God is telling the truth. We are afraid to give Him our all. We live life paralyzed.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

The reason this verse seems so extreme, so radical…too far…is because we are not sold out. We have taken a worldly view. We have bought into the ideology that we are not all that bad. After all, when compared to others we are pretty darn good.

It is easy to become robotic in our Christian walk. Go to church. Read our Bibles. Check the box. We can live the life we think we are supposed to by adjusting our outside behavior. However, if we are not applying God’s Word to our heart, we slowly become bored.

God is not after your goodness. God is not after external modification of being a good person. God is after your heart. God wants you all in!

Sue Allen 

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Sue A. Allen resides in Austin, Texas along with her husband and four overly active children ranging in age from four to nineteen (the youngest who was recently adopted from Haiti). Sue, along with her husband Coby, founded Dell Children’s Medical Global Outreach, which provides much needed medical care and training to under served populations around the world.

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