Ansell: Are you ’all in’?
We bought a new red Jeep Gladiator the other day. We traded in the black Mini Cooper convertible. It was our third Mini (our seventh Jeep, we jump from one cult to the other, if you know what I mean) and my favorite car ever.
It was a hard decision. Cars become like family and we often find our identity in them … in some ways I was a black, turbo-charged Mini Cooper convertible.
We made three trips to the dealership (an hour away). As the Blonde and the sales guy hung out under the shade of a tree while I walked around the Jeep, looking at the Mini and then looking at the Jeep he finally asked Jennifer, “Why is he struggling? Why can’t he can’t make up his mind?” She told him, “He loves that Mini Cooper.”
This is the problem, we “love our cars,” wait, did I just say that? I love an inanimate object? We also say we love fajitas, cheese puffs and a variety of places and things don’t we?
The reason Jesus said in Mark 12 that we have to love God with all of our hearts is because we can’t be divided or distracted. In Luke 10 Jesus sent out 72 of His disciples on mission and He sent them out with just what they could fit into a fanny pack - a comb and a toothbrush. The reason was in part so they would not be encumbered, vulnerable, divided and distracted.
It’s hard for us to keep the main thing, the main thing especially at a spiritual level. I wonder how many of you heard a sermon on Sunday but can you still remember the text and the title or what the main point was (or if you are Baptist what the three points were, ha)? See, the struggle is real.
Mark Batterson in his book “All In” reminds us of Joshua 3:5 where God said, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Then he writes, “Before I tell you what consecration is let me tell you what it isn’t:
• It is not going to church once a week.
• It’s not daily devotions.
• It’s not fasting during Lent.
• It’s not keeping the 10 Commandments.
• It’s not sharing your faith with friends.
• It’s not giving God the tithe.
• It’s not repeating the sinner’s prayer.
• It’s not volunteering for ministry.
• It’s not leading a small group.
• It’s not raising your hands in worship.
• It’s not going on a mission trip.
All of those things can be good, but they are not consecration.
Consecration isn’t about behavior modification. In other words, it’s not about getting better (we will get better but not because we tried to get better but rather because we trusted to get better). It’s not conformity to a moral code. It’s about setting yourself apart. It’s about full devotion. We can follow the rules but never follow Christ.
So are you “all in?” Are you fully devoted or partially distracted? Are you following Christ or do you even know what that means (if not give me a shout)?
We can’t do amazing things but we can be a consecrated people that God uses to do amazing things. In other words, are we doing our part knowing God will do His? He asked me to ask you that. Go get’em!