All In (Part II)


I was recently asked to write an article for my church’s e-devotion series. I was assigned a theme. I was pretty surprised when I learned that the theme was “Go All In and Make Waves”. I’d written my original thoughts about going “all in” back in July. Now I have another shot at it with a particular slant – a stewardship campaign.

Interesting combination!

The concept of “going all in” is something I’ve given a lot of thought to though so I figured what the heck. I’ll just post it here too.

John 3:5-8

5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

——————————————————————

While there are subtle advantages and disadvantages to going “all in” in Texas Hold’em, the broad meaning of the phrase seems particularly compelling in the context of this campaign. Going “all in” can mean to wager one’s entire stake.

John seems to understand this without having played any Texas Hold‘em. Wagering a portion of our faith won’t cut it. Being partially committed to our Lord won’t do. As much as I’d like to hedge my bets and hang back, I’ve come to realize that the only winning hand in this life is to…

…wager it all…

…put all my chips on the table…

…“go all in”.

In the Indiana Jones movie The Last Crusade there is a scene where Indy has to cross a cavernous void. He can see that the path he’s on continues on the other side, but he can’t see how he would get there. It just looks as if the path ends with an empty void before him. However, as he contemplates his predicament he begins to understand that the challenge he faces is that he has to take a “leap of faith” and step out into the void. He has to “go all in”.

I can’t help but think of the words from 2 Corinthians 5:7…

“For we walk by faith, not by sight”.

Stepping forth spiritually to live out the promise of our baptism requires the same kind of blind faith. It’s not what we “know” through our experiences in the physical world that matter. It’s what we “understand” of our spiritual promises that prove to be the key to overcoming our challenges.

When we give of ourselves completely; when we “go all in”; we are walking by faith – not by sight. We’re living the reality of our baptism; Spirit giving birth to spirit; and placing what we “understand” before what we “know”.

For example; if we adhere to the realities of our physical world that we “know”, we might believe that when we give something away we end up with less.

But…

When we live the “understanding” of our spiritual existence, we come to see that when we give something away we actually RECEIVE MORE.

It’s counter intuitive. But so was Indy’s step into the void. Yet, the only way for him to move forward was to believe first and validate second…

…To walk before seeing…

… To “go all in”.

Going “all in” can be thought of as the expression of total spiritual commitment. It’s an expression of faith. It’s walking by faith rather than sight.

Anytime someone gives of themselves with complete spiritual commitment that they are walking by faith those around them will notice. The smallest ripples generated by an act of faith will produce waves that can’t be ignored.

Go ahead. Go all in. Take that step. Walk by faith, not by sight. Live the promise of your baptism.

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