All or nothing. Sounds radically epic doesn’t it? It almost sounds like some sort of movie title or gambling strategy. I can hear the deep, intense voice of a narrator on a movie trailer saying, “Their time is up… This is their last chance… It’s all or nothing!” “All or nothing” sounds over the top, like a last resort. In reality, all or nothing should be our first resort… because everything or nothing are the only two options we really have.
If you strip it down to the studs, all or nothing is about as simple a concept as it gets. It’s black or white. Left or right. Hot or cold. So when I say all or nothing, what am I talking about?
All or nothing is the mindset that we all must have if we are truly desiring to walk out biblical Christianity. We either give Jesus Christ everything that we have, all of our passion, time, energy and focus… or we don’t follow Him at all. It’s really that simple. If this sounds like something a person would say after a deep spiritual journey to a remote asian village to find “inner meaning,” it shouldn’t. It should sound like something a person would say after they read the Bible (Ouch! That was harsh).
Christ says in Revelation 3:15-16, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” There is no middle ground option with God. You are either all in (hot) or completely indifferent towards Him (cold), and those who try to sit on the fence and get the best of both worlds get spat out.
Inevitably, everyone is living for something. We all have something we are pursuing above all others. It’s basic human nature, we were made to worship, but what we give that worship to is the key. In 1 Samuel 12, the prophet Samuel warns Israel about turning away from God saying, “Do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.” If we stop pursuing God we will unavoidably give our worship to other things, empty things… things that will leave us hollow and hungering.
If we still think there is a way we can try to walk down the middle of the road, listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 6:24. He says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” He doesn’t say you “should not” serve two masters, but you “cannot.” It’s impossible. Either we completely surrender ourselves to God or we will end up “despising” Him. See, the problem with driving down the middle of the road is that you get hit by the traffic coming from both directions.
So that’s the challenge that the Lord has given me for my own life and the message He has given me to share. It’s the message that Jesus proclaimed when He said, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37-38). We only have two options, it’s not a complicated reality. So my exhortation is this: Step out of the lukewarm, American Christianity and let God set you on fire, because anything less isn’t really Christianity anyway.
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