This week we’re going to consider the idea of “going all in” for Christ and what that might look like for us. We’ll come at it from a few different angles — some small, some big — read some scripture, and try to think about it practically and sustainably.
Today’s Bible Reading
“When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.””
More Thoughts For Meditation
Let’s try a thought experiment about sacrifice today.
What is something that you routinely make sacrifices for? Maybe it’s family, maybe it’s work. I’m a musician and have made sacrifices for that. Let’s take music as an example.
Learning how to play an instrument requires sacrifice. There are many moments where your friends are outside playing or going to parties and you’re staying at home practicing. That’s a sacrifice. You might even say that you are sacrificing your time on the altar to the music gods. That might be a stretch but let’s go with it.
As you get better and better at your instrument you might find yourself putting more than just your time on that altar. Maybe you sacrifice a relationship, maybe it’s a job promotion, maybe it’s having a family.
Now, it doesn’t all have to be negative. It’s a wonderful thing to have a craft, discipline yourself in it, and excel. There’s no shame in that.
But let’s keep going with this thought experiment even if it’s a little uncomfortable. Who are the gods we might say we’ve sacrificed to? Are they the music gods? I certainly have. The career gods? The “being good” gods? The “being right” gods? What are we willing to put on that altar? Or better yet, is there anything we can put on those altars that the other gods will say no to? I don’t think so. I think those gods will take anything and everything we put on the altar. They’re not like Abraham’s god. Abraham’s god says “no” in our scripture reading today. “Do not lay your hand on the boy”. That doesn’t sound like a music god or a career god to me. That sounds like a Good God, one that actually cares about us, a God that might actually love us, a God that is worth following, worth maybe even going all in for.
Let’s not let this be a moment to feel shame about ourselves. Shame can be a god too. Jesus meets us where we’re at right now. We can be honest with ourselves without condemnation. That’s how good this God is. He’s inviting us to follow him, to keep following him, to not have it all perfect, but to have a willingness to change, to be changed, to be transformed daily, piece by piece, moment by moment, little drastic decision by little drastic decision. That might actually be what it means to go “all in.”
Suggestions For Action
Reflect on your faith journey today. The fact that you’re reading this probably indicates that you’ve noticed how empty those other gods are and that there’s something different about Jesus. Rejoice in that! It’s a miracle! Reflect on some of those little drastic moments or risky decisions you’ve made for Christ. Maybe it was going to a Sunday meeting for the first time or leading a cell. Reflect on those moments of trust and worship. It’s OK if there have been peaks and valleys. It’s OK if you’re in a valley. Jesus is in your weakness too. Can you believe it? Be refreshed that you’re following a living God whose mercies are new daily. Rest in it. Trust in it. Trust that he’s going to continue the work he started in you. That’s another promise. And as you reflect on your journey you might come to the conclusion that you’re way more “all in” than you thought!