No one needs a course or class on how to be out. Most people already are. In fact, Jesus said that’s the way it’s going to end up – with most people out. (See Matthew 7:21-23.) We don’t need to be taught how to be half-hearted either. At least half, if not more of the people who claim to be Christians have got that one down real good.
In his excellent book ALL IN, Mark Batterson says, “We all want to spend eternity with God. We just don’t want to spend time with Him. We stand and stare from a distance, satisfied with superficiality. We Facebook more than we seek His face. We text more than we study The Text. And our eyes aren’t fixed on Jesus. They’re fixed on our iPhones and iPads – emphasis on “i.” Then we wonder why God feels so distant. We wonder why we’re bored with our faith. It’s because we’re holding out.
We want joy without sacrifice.
We want character without suffering.
We want success without failure.
We want gain without pain.
We want a testimony without the test.
We want it all without going all out for it.
It’s not enough to sit in a church service for sixty minutes. Churches are filled with spiritual sightseers who feel like they’ve done their religious duty by sitting and listening.”1
Is that you? Or are you ALL IN?
Mark goes on to say, “We want everything God has to offer without giving anything up. We want to buy in without selling out.”2
To put it another way, we want blessings without burdens, heaven without hassles and success without sacrifice. We want God to go ALL OUT for us, but we don’t want to go ALL IN for Him.
Batterson says, “Most people, in most churches, think they are following Jesus …” but the reality is “they have invited JESUS to follow them.”3 They call Him Savior and Lord, but they call the shots. They don’t pray: ‘God, what would you have me do?’ They pray, God, here’s what I want you to do.
Is that you?
Mark says, “You are one decision away from a totally different life.” So what is that ONE DECISION?
Going ALL IN for God. ALL IN. NOT SOME IN, HALF IN OR EVEN MOSTLY IN. ALL IN!!
So what’s the secret to being ALL IN? Craig Groeschel says: “Stop skipping church whenever you feel like it because you stayed up late the night before or there’s a game on or you want to go to the lake or for whatever other reason you want to make up. Stop being a phony. Wholeheartedly commit your life to Christ. Stop just going to church and consuming. Get yourself and your family involved. Make a difference. Serve. Tithe. Give offerings. Pray. Engage in the life of the church. Grow spiritually. Stop pretending. Do something different.”4
Go ALL IN! Be ALL IN! All the time … everywhere you go … everything you do. If you’re not there, get there … now.
Halfway is no way to live. Half-hearted won’t get you where you hope to be, need to be and want to be. Half-hearted won’t get you on the football team or the cheerleading squad. Half-hearted won’t get you the job promotion or seal the deal on that important project. Half-hearted won’t help you have a better attitude or get you a better marriage. Half-hearted won’t help you lose weight or get in shape. So why would anyone ever believe half-hearted would work with God?
Half-hearted won’t get you a double portion of God’s blessing. Flakiness won’t get you God’s favor.
Mark Batterson writes …
“Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous.
Faithfulness is not holding the fort. It’s storming the gates of hell.
The will of God is not an insurance plan. It’s a daring plan.
The complete surrender of your life to the cause of Christ isn’t radical. It’s normal.
It’s time to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
It’s time to go ALL IN and ALL OUT for the ALL in ALL.”5
“You are one decision away from a totally different life!”
So, are you ALL IN?
© 2014. Barry L. Cameron
1 Mark Batterson, All In (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013) 77-78.
2 All In, 25.
3 All In, 16.
4 Craig Groeschel, Fight (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013) 146.
5 Mark Batterson, All In (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013) 13-14.
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.