Are you really “all-in” for Jesus?

This is an excerpt from Episode 169 of the Where did you see God Podcast

Peter believed that he was an “all-in” disciple, and he had plenty of evidence to prove it.

He had left everything, done crazy, foolish things for Jesus, and had proven himself over and over and over again, so you can imagine his shock when Jesus said this in Matthew 26, starting in verse 31:

Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

We need to sit with this for a moment.

All of these disciples were men who had given up their livelihoods, given up their understanding of reality, given up years of their life. All of them believed that they were “all-in disciples,” and yet Jesus knew something that they could not believe: they would all fall away.  Peter was convinced that he was willing to go to prison, to die even, for Jesus; Jesus knew that he would disown him not once, not twice, but three times, and in a matter of hours.  If even the disciples struggled with being “all-in”, how much more so us?

Here’s what’s wild: we struggle with being “all-in” in even the simplest of things. This is what the disciples encountered as well:

They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, f Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting?
Mark 14:32-41

These “all-in” disciples couldn’t even keep their eyes open.

Jesus knew that they were “mere humans”, and was inviting them into something more.  This “something more” was not a thing that they could grasp in and of themselves; their “spirit was willing, but their flesh was too weak.”  This “all-in” lifestyle was not only too costly, but impossible for them.

So how do we respond to “impossible”?  The Apostle Paul has something to say about this:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. c For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15-25

If we really want to be “all-in”, we must confess we cannot do it in and of ourselves: 0ur spirit might be willing, but our flesh is weak.  Jesus understands, and so died for us: “thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

If you want to be “all-in”, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  Look to Jesus; don’t simply play the role of a disciple, but actually be a disciple.  Then, as you are actually being that disciple — imperfectly, sometimes with confusion — you will find that it necessitates being “all-in” in order to do so, and the Spirit will actually equip you to do it.  While our spirit is willing and the flesh is weak, the Spirit is unstoppable and has been sent as a helper to us.

You can be an “all-in” disciple, but you cannot do it on your own.  Own your limitations, celebrate God’s limitlessness, and invite the Spirit to move.

 

Hear a powerful story of a marine who learned what it means to be “all-in” in Episode 169 of the Where did you see God Podcast

 

 

All-in disciple

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