“The Gospel costs nothing, but demands everything.” – Mark Batterson
How hungry are you for God?
During a private Master’s Mind Coaching (MMC) call on July 24, my client was inspired to tell me several times “I want to be ALL IN.” Little did she know that right in front of me on my bookshelf was Mark Batterson’s book titled “All In.” I knew for sure Holy Spirit was leading me to read that book, so I began the next morning. The book is outstanding and really spoke to me.
Mark Batterson is my favorite inspirational author. I read his first book “In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day” in 2007 and wrote a series of messages about that. I read his second book “Wild Goose Chase” in 2008 and published several messages about that.
In August 2013, I met Mark in person when he spoke at the dedication of the Culpeper Christian Community Center. After the dedication was over, Mark gave me signed copies of his two latest books – The Circle Maker and All In. I saw Mark in person again when he was the keynote speaker at the Culpeper Community Thanksgiving Service.
Here are some excerpts from Chapter 2: The Inverted Gospel of “All In” that I felt led to share with you today:
Who’s following who? Are you following Jesus? Or have you inverted the gospel by inviting Jesus to follow you?
Anytime God is about to do something amazing in our lives, He calls us to consecrate ourselves to Him. That pattern was established right before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and conquered the Promised Land.
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”
Here’s our fundamental problem: we try to do God’s job for Him. We want to do amazing things for God. And that seems noble, but we’ve got it backward. God wants to do amazing things for us. That’s His job, not ours. Our job is consecration. That’s it. And if we do our job, God will most certainly do His.
Before I tell you what consecration is, let me tell you what it isn’t.
- It’s not going to church once a week.
- It’s not daily devotions.
- It’s not fasting during Lent.
- It’s not keeping the Ten Commandments.
- It’s not sharing your faith with your friends.
- It’s not giving God the tithe.
- It’s not repeating the sinner’s prayer.
- It’s not volunteering for a 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 are good things, but that isn’t consecration. It’s more than behavior modification. It’s more than conformity to a moral code. It’s more than doing good deeds. It’s something deeper, something truer.
The word consecrate means to set yourself apart. By definition, consecration demands full devotion. It’s dethroning yourself and enthroning Jesus Christ. It’s the complete divestiture of all self-interest. It’s giving God veto power. It’s surrendering all of you to all of Him. It’s a simple recognition that every second of time, every ounce of energy, and every penny of money is a gift from God and for God. Consecration is an ever-deepening love for Jesus, a childlike trust in the heavenly Father, and a blind obedience to the Holy Spirit.
Consecration is going all in and all out for the All in All.
My greatest concern as a pastor is the people can go to church every week of their lives and never go all in with Jesus Christ. They can follow the rules, but never follow Christ.
If you aren’t hungry for God, you are full of yourself. That’s why God cannot fill you with his Holy Spirit. If you let go and let God take control, He’ll write history, His Story, through your life.
CP Interview: Mark Batterson Calls Christians to Go ‘All In’ (outstanding 5 minute video)
Heavenly Father, I want to go all in and all out for You. Help me to do that. Remove all distractions – anything and everything that pulls me away from You. Refine my habits, desires, and goals to come into alignment with You. Help me to see You more clearly, love You more dearly, and follow You more nearly. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen and hallelujah!
Blessings to go all in and all out for the All in All!
1) Chase The Lion – Looking Foolish – Outstanding video (sermon) by Mark Batterson
“Faith is the willingness to look foolish.” – Mark Batterson
2) Authentic Leadership and Letting Your Strengths Bloom – Wharton Interview of Bill George
3) Developing a 30-60-100 Mindset – video replay of webinar
4) Chris Tomlin – I Will Follow – Lyrics