Are We All In?

           A common phrase indicating our total devotion to a cause is “all in.” By the use of this expression, we are suggesting that our loyalty is complete. We will do whatever it takes to show our allegiance and move the cause forward.

          We like to say we’re “all in” with God, but are we really? James, our Lord’s brother, knew what it meant to be “all in” as he watched his older Sibling move through life “all in” with His heavenly Father and supremely dedicated to the cause for which He had come. He watched how his Brother, undeterred by disbelief and negative criticism, clung to the declaration that He was the Son of God, the Savior of the world. James watched as Jesus traveled from city to city, performed miracles, and gained an unprecedented following. He watched, and the immediate family worried, as the rage of the religious leaders grew against his Brother. He probably watched too as Jesus was crucified, but then watched as grief transformed into joy three days later when He rose from the dead. And then he himself watched himself become “all in” as a follower of his Brother who was now His Lord and Savior.

           So James has something valuable to say about how to be “all in” with God. His entire epistle shoots straight from the hip. He wrote things like:

  • “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” James 1:22 (NKJ), and
  • “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” James 2:18 (NKJ).

For today’s point; however, we concentrate on chapter four. If we assert that we’re “all in,” James questions, “Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” James 4:4 (NIV).

          If we’re “all in,” we’ve got to stop straddling the fence. Either we’re going to do things 100% God’s way, or we’re going to do them 100% the world’s way; we can’t have it both ways. James goes on to say that if we are “all in” with God, we must “humble [ourselves] before the Lord” James 4:10 (NIV). Humbling ourselves is something we simply don’t want to do. It sounds so weak and wimpish to “tapeinoo (tap-i-no’-o),” to depress and humiliate ourselves in condition or heart, but that’s what it takes. James ends his comments on this issue by saying, “Therefore, to one who knows {the} right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin” James 4:17 (NAS).

          What scares us about giving our all to God? Worst case scenario: you could lose all the stuff in your life God doesn’t want you to have. And why should we want stuff God doesn’t want us to have? God wants only the absolute best for us, and that means we must live apart from sin.

         Let go; be “all in” with God and watch, like James did, how Jesus truly becomes your Lord.

________________________

©2012 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!

 

~ by sanewriter on November 23, 2012.

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