by Coye Bouyer
LANSING, MI – Pastor Mark Batterson (senior pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C.) tells a story in his book, ‘All In,’ of a band of brave souls who would become known as one-way missionaries.
“About a century ago, they purchased single tickets to the mission field without the return half. And instead of suitcases, they packed their few earthly belongings into coffins. As they sailed out of port, they waved good-bye to everyone they loved and everything they knew because they understood they would not be returning home” (pg. 13).
In this book, Pastor Mark is challenging Christians of the 21st Century western mindset that Jesus died to save us for heaven and keep us safe while here on earth. For many Christians, we believe that God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things. We are often unwilling to step out of our comfort zones, and say and do things that only God could be responsible for accomplishing.
While we like to think that we are willing to go where Jesus says go and do what Jesus says do, in actual reality we are only willing to go as far as we feel safe. In other words, we are often unwilling to live a life of uncertainty. What we don’t realize is that when we are unwilling to live a life of uncertainty, we are not living a life filled with faith.
Now don’t miss what I am saying, as this does not mean that we do not have faith (faith in Jesus as Lord and even moments of faith in our lives), but what we are missing is a life that is continuously uncertain, constantly uncomfortable, and consistently being challenged as we experience a life full of circumstances we can say with great conviction, “God did it, for without His hand, this work would not have gotten done.”
Too many of us have gotten good with seeing God do one, two or a few big things. But when the disciples followed Jesus, they saw miracle after miracle, healing after healing (the blind man, the man who couldn’t walk and even casting out demons) and supernatural event after supernatural event (turning water into wine or calming the storm). Moreover, John says that there was not enough paper to create a book that could contain all the miracles of Jesus (Jn. 21:25).
So did the miracles, healings and supernatural events stop when Jesus left; Of course not, in fact Jesus instructed His disciples that they would do even greater works than what they had seen Him perform. That is if they remained in Him, if they continued to yield themselves to Him and His will. Moreover, if they were willing to let Him, through the power of the Holy Spirit, have complete control of their lives then they would go on a journey similar to the one He had taken them on.
If that is true for them then, then it remains true for us today. Jesus did not die to keep us safe, make us comfortable, or so that our lives would be free from sacrifices. Becoming a disciple of Christ is not for the timid or the weak, following Jesus is not always convenient, and living a life of commitment to the Bible will not always mean safety for you or your loved ones.
The will of God is not an insurance plan guaranteeing you coverage from life’s unfortunate and painful circumstances. Becoming a disciple is not about convenience rather it is about being inconvenienced. Being a Christian is not about the amount of safety we will receive, but the tremendous sacrifice(s) the Lord will call us to make.
The question is simple, are you going to live your Christian life in pursuit of God’s kingdom coming to earth? Will you continue to have one foot in the Word and the other in the world, or for the sake of God’s kingdom will you be ‘All In’ going ‘All Out’ for the ‘All in All?’
For us as Christians, especially within the comforts and conveniences of a western culture that is not plagued with poverty economically, educationally, financially, or spiritually, we unfortunately do not experience the abundance of God’s kingdom in heaven, coming down here to earth. But why is this?
Because most of us are really not “All In.” I mean we are all in when it comes to an eternity in heaven, but when it pertains to our life here on earth, we are only partially in. Like, playing the “Hokey Pokey,” we stick a piece or ourselves in, only to take it back out.
But when will we, because we have become disciples of Jesus, do as He did and divulge all of ourselves to the full use of God through the Spirit who He has given us. When will we be like those missionaries of a century ago where we are packing only a few things worth holding as we look to go wherever God says, not expecting to return home, but rather to give all of ourselves to the work and mission that so many who have gone before us game themselves too?
Today will you decide to Go ALL IN for the Kingdom of God so that just like in the days of Jesus and the Apostles we can once again see Heaven come down to earth. God Bless you my friend(s).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Coye L. Bouyer is the founding pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Lansing, MI where he has served since March of 2010. Pastor Bouyer recently stepped into the Diversity Ambassador role for the BSCM and firmly believes that he was not only called to Preach the Gospel as part of the process of reconciliation of man to God, but also using any platform as a bridge of reconciliation of man to man, and even more so amongst the brethren. Pastor Bouyer and his lovely wife Keturah (Gen. 25:1) have been married four over 20 years and have four children; Sierra, Seth, Cayla and Coye II.