All In

My uncle and I were talking the other day. My uncle, who is the former associate pastor of my church, and I are extremely close. Since he’s moved to Dallas, we’ve become kind of like best friends… at least to me. Anyway, we were talking last Sunday about a series his church, Christian World Church, had done called “All In.” It’s based upon a book by Mark Batterson. He texted me the site that I could get the DVD and Study Guide. Thankfully, he had an extra copy of the book which he mailed to me. This book opened my eyes tremendously as to what living for and trusting in God is all about.
Allow me to set up where we’re headed. I am in college, and I graduate in May 2015 with an associate’s degree. The college I attend is not a 4-year college. So, I must transfer to a university. It is here where I am doing something drastic and radical in my life. I am moving to another state, 430+ miles from home, and I am scared to death. However, this is an opportunity for me. It’s an experience.  Now, I am not just jumping at the bit to leave my family, BUT I am so badly wanting to get an experience. I want to give a certain future the best chance. In his book, Mark is explaining how going “all in for God” requires us to take a step out of comfort and start sacrificing. He urges his readers to pursue God-ordained dreams. This is where God spoke to me through Mark.

All of my life I have lived in this one section of rural Mississippi, and it’s great. It’s my home. It has its annoyances, but it is my home. When I read that portion of the book, I thought of shepherd boy David, and not King David. Why? All of his life he had been on the backside of a hill in Israel playing his harp, protecting his daddy’s sheep, and singing to God. He was pretty comfortable. Little did David know that the prophet, Samuel, was headed to his house, and David’s entire world would never be the same. The day Samuel shows up, David is anointed to be the next king of Israel after King Saul. One day, Jesse tells David to carry some bread to his brothers on a battlefield though. We all know the story. David gets there, his brothers ridicule him, the men tell him to go home, and David says, “How can I go home? There’s a cause now.”

Jesse thought he was sending his boy to carry some bread, but this was greater than that. This was a divine appointment. This is where “David the shepherd boy” became “David the Giant Slayer”. One simple task launched David’s legacy. In one moment, David took a step out on trusting God, and it changed his entire course of life. Everyone else is in the camp crying and cowering. Some of the “warriors” are probably saying, “that’s too bad… I liked the little dude.” David did not run. He knew that physically the odds were against him. He should have been killed, but God called him. And God was not going to leave him. David began the journey that took him from shepherd boy to king all because God presented an opportunity for David to show who he was.

God has presented me with an opportunity. I’m scared. I’m worried, but if we live our lives in shells, how can we effectively minister? You see, I want an experience. I want to grow spiritually. I’m happy about this opportunity, and I feel God is in it.

We can sit at home and do nothing or we can go out on faith and take a shot at being extraordinary. We can stay comfortably on our hillsides or we can go to the battlefield. We can talk about God’s wonders or we can start being part of God’s wonders. So, when someone comes at us and tells us, “That’s risky,” remind them of Peter walking on the water during the storm.  Remind them of Stephen boldly proclaiming Jesus Christ to a crowd more than ready to stone him. Remind them of Johnathan when he climbed the hill to fight the Philistines. Yes, it’s risky, but if God is in it, DO IT.  Do not allow yourself to go home. Do not allow people to discourage you. Get up. Be a part of the wonders of God. Step into your destiny.

If David runs from a battle with Goliath, he runs from his destiny. A giant stood between David and destiny. What are you willing to do to go forward into your destiny? Do not run from battles, because that battle may just propel you into your calling. If there’s a wall or a giant, remember, God is God. He is the I AM THAT I AM. We do not have to do it alone. We do not have do it all immediately. Stop trying to do the amazing by ourselves and let’s just BE the church. Let’s get back to our altars, Bibles, local mission fields, and our God-ordained dreams. Get back to being the church, and let God do the amazing.

If you see an opportunity, do not be afraid to take it. If you’re in a battle, do not run. Through God all things are possible.

Read more from Derek’s unfiltered blog in his latest:Barabbas: The Revolutionary, The Thief, The MurdererWhen Did Jesus Stop Being Enough?: Part 1