Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I'm all in.
Over the past few months the phrase "all in" has come at me from nearly every angle. The music I listen to frequently mentions going all in. Two of the three books I'm reading currently speak of going all in. Many of the preachers whose podcasts I listen to have recently been talking about going all in. It's a great thought; going all in... Giving up total control to God, depending entirely on God to provide, and letting go of all of the earthly things we all love so much. It's a really freeing idea, and it's an idea that I have prayed over a lot lately. I would love to go all in; to give God every part of me and never look back. The problem is that going all in is a very ethereal concept with no clear guide as to how to actually accomplish it.
"Lord, father; I am your son, and I am all in. You lead, I follow. Whenever. Wherever. Whatever. I am yours."
I prayed that prayer, not realizing how incredibly life changing it could be. Giving a life entirely, irrevocably to Christ leaves no room for other things. That new computer I wanted, the motorcycle, it's all pointless once I realized that the only thing I really needed was a leader to follow, and a mission to accomplish.
One of the best lines I've ever heard spoken about God was during an interview between Piers Morgan and Joel Osteen. Piers asked if pastor Osteen could actually hear an audible voice when God spoke to him. I seriously doubt Piers Morgan has any respect for God or anyone who believes that something out there is more important than celebrity and material things, so this question was asked simply to make Joel Osteen sound like a fool. I think Osteen got the last laugh though when he told Piers that God "doesn't speak in an audible voice, it's louder than that." Best, most plugged in answer ever! Because when God speaks, it's so much louder than any voice. Voices can go unheard, but when God speaks there is no alternative but to hear. You can always ignore, but you cannot not hear His words.
In his book Wild at Heart, John Eldredge talks about the world created by God for us as a dangerous place. The same God that created you and I also created lions, sharks, volcanoes, Mt Everest, K2, and tornadoes. It's man who has broken and tamed the earth, depriving us of adventure which is important for man, because not only were we created in the image of God, but we were created for the Earth. Or, the Earth was created for us. That means that those tornadoes, volcanoes, and high mountain peaks were created for you and I, not simply because He could, but because He knew that we needed things to overcome. We NEED adventure and risk. It's death and the fear of death that makes life exciting. It's the uncertainty of tomorrow that makes today so special.
And it's an adventure that God has given me in order to go all in. The answer to my prayer wasn't quick. It wasn't sudden. But it was loud. Slowly, over the past two weeks a picture of what God is asking of me has become clearer and clearer. And while this task is scary, it's something I look forward to.
Next year I am going to either sell or give away everything I own and move to a third world country in southeast Asia in order to become a missionary in an area where Christianity is illegal and missionaries have historically been jailed and tortured simply for possessing bibles. The people in this country cry out for the Lord and their government responds with brutal violence. While there has been some movement towards peace and acceptance recently, this is still a very dangerous place, and I plan on putting myself as close to the front lines of God's war for this country as I can.
Am I scared? Heck yes! I can barely sleep I'm so scared. But I'm not scared for the reasons this world says I should be scared. Torture and death don't really scare me. Yeah, I want to avoid them if I can; but in the end, death isn't scary in the least to someone with faith in God and heaven. What I fear is failure. To fall short and not help bring spiritual knowledge, Jesus, or even simply food to people who are starving in every sense of the word.
I have prayed nonstop for the past week. I've prayed that God would not lead me into something I couldn't handle. I've prayed that I would be up to the task set before me. I've prayed for advice, funding, and opportunity. I've prayed nearly everything I could pray. Seriously, the answer to going all in was God telling me to go somewhere. that's it... Now I've got to figure out the rest somehow.
I don't like asking others to pray for me. It seems selfish. In fact, today was the first time I think I've ever asked anyone that and I asked my small group from church to pray for me over the next year that things continue to fall into place and that my journey bear fruit. I'm going to ask you the same thing. Please, over the next year, pray that doors continue to open and the pieces that need to come together in order for this trip to happen do so. And please pray for all the people all over this world who live in countries and areas where Jesus is prohibited. Please pray that someone gets in there with messages of hope and forgiveness through Christ.