what if I had given everything?


Category : Jesus, Luke, hope, radical, revolutionary, trust


‘Cause I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
“What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?”

- Matthew West, The Motions

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to follow God.  Especially as we are hammered every day by bad news.  How do you follow God when you have no job, no money, no future?  How do you manage to live out a life of faith when your home or car is being repossessed?

There’s only one answer I can think of, and that’s being ”all in.” 

We can’t worship God half way.  If we’re to pick up our cross and follow Jesus, we can’t carry it just part way.  We can’t just say “I’m in it for the good times.”  Because when we take that approach, the minute bad things hit, we jump out and lose hope.

Jesus warned us to weigh the consequences of following him.  And I think he was serious.

He knew we could never withstand suffering if we haven’t fully committed to God.  If we’re holding onto the world, we’ll never be able to say “everything I have is yours”.  As long as we still crave what the world offers we know, deep down, we’re not being honest toward God.  Which is why our first reaction to bad news is anger towards him.  We’re upset he’s taken something that belongs to us.   

When we split our between the world and God, our focus always ends up on what makes us happy and healthy.  

When I look at passages like these, I don’t think God is trying to be harsh.  I don’t think Jesus was trying to scare people away when he said a follower must “hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life” (Luke 14: 26).  Jesus was trying to show the problems of having our focus on something other than God.  He wanted us to understand that we will never be able to handle life if we grasp him with one hand, but cling to the world with the other. 

Being a Christian is an all or nothing proposition. 

Until we’re willing to go “all in” we will never have the piece of mind that comes with trusting God.  We will never believe we’re really doing what God wants.  Because we will always crave something else.  It’s only when we learn to put God ahead of our families, our lives, and our comfort, that we can escape hopelessness.   

Knowing that we’ve given everything, instead of going through the motions” lets us withstand suffering.  It may even allow us to enjoy life in the midst of our problems.  But without giving everything, we have no chance when real suffering hits. 

Being “all in” is what puts this world into perspective. 

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