By Joyell Nevins – CFFM Blogger
God is a God of wisdom, grace, and thoughtfulness. He sees the long game when we do not. But what He is not is a God of inertia or casual commitment. God is an ALL IN, fully engaged, kind of God.
I was reminded of this in a most unusual way – sharing a pot of tea with a friend at a Chinese restaurant.
The white porcelain teapot looked so delicate, sitting there on the table. I oh-so-carefully lifted it and tried to sloooowly pour the tea into my tiny cup.
Except – very little tea actually ended up in my cup. Most of it just pooled around the bottom and onto the restaurant’s table. That was not my goal!
My more experienced in the ways of tea friend explained that the way to pour is to drop the spout all at once. Still hold the pot with care, but pour and lift in one quick, smooth motion.
Photo by HO JJ on Pixnio
That seemed so anathema to me – I’m going to dump hot liquid quickly into this small space of a cup?! But, she was right.
I don’t know the physics behind it, but I do know that when I quickly and fully brought the tea spout over my cup, and then immediately brought it back, the cup filled. Plus, the tea stayed where it was supposed to go.
Sometimes, our life is like that tea scenario. Yes, there are situations that require planning, thought, and prayer.
But at some point, you just have to go for it! Another way to phrase that, as I heard a minister say, is to “go all in.”
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5 NKJV (said to the children of Israel for instructions in how to live, later repeated by Jesus in Matthew, Mark and Luke)
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 NASB
Peter Goes for It
Peter was such a strong example of this lifestyle. He was not perfect, but he was passionate. He started in a life of service to Jesus by “forsaking all and following him.”
Peter is the one who, when he saw Jesus walking on the water, GOT OUT of the boat and walked towards him.
“When the disciples saw [Jesus] walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter responded and said to him, “Lord if it is you command me to come to you on the water.” And he said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and came toward Jesus.” Matthew 14:26-29 NASB
BUT, as a Fellow Laborer pointed out to me one time, Peter was the only one willing to get out of the boat in spite of his fear! The other disciples were still sitting ensconced in their fear in the vessel.
Peter denied Jesus out loud, but at least he was in the courtyard where Jesus was put on trial. All of the other disciples left Jesus and fled when he was arrested!
Peter was continually willing to go for it, even when he failed or didn’t quite hit the target, even when he was going alone. Peter is also the one who stood up in the midst of the devout Jews on the day of Pentecost and spoke with absolute boldness the gospel of Jesus Christ and message of salvation (Acts 2).
He serves as an inspiration for how we, too, can pour ourselves out in spite of our fear. We can commit fully to a life of service to our Lord.
How about you – where is God calling you to go ALL IN with Him and Jesus?