Let me ask you a serious question.
This is the question that drives the theme of uncommon for the next few months.
What does it mean to be all-in?
What do you think of when I say All-in?
Truth is, as a society, it was seem as if we have no clue what all-in means?
This semester is about being all-in, but Tonight, we arent gonna just dip our toe in the water.
We arent going to just give an introduction.
We are going all- in right now.
In poker, when someone goes all in it means there is no reserve or security blanket.
You are putting all that you have on the bet.
You are so confident that the hand you have will win that you put everything you have on the line.
But here is the thing about going all in.
You only do it if you have confidence in your hand.
I have great news tonight.
If you are a follower of Christ.
you have an unbeatable hand.
I serve a God that is unbeatable.
he is unmatchable.
He has not once failed.
He has never let me down and in Him I am promised victory.
So much so that John says in 1 John 5:14
and the author of Hebrews says
Tonight i want you to realize what God has freely given so that we can truly be all in.
We dont even have to use our own money.
If you will hear what God has to say to us tonight, Im asking that we go ALL-In from the start!
So get ready.
Lets not wait till May, or when you graduate, or when you are married, or when you are financially stable.
So why should we be all-in and what does it look like to be all-in for Jesus?
Let’s look at the stories of some people in Scripture that when All-In from the beginning and the importance of this that God is teaching us.
First lets look at a guy named Elisha.
Turn to 1 Kings 19:19
Wait a minute.
Do you ever just read a story and think insane it sounds.
You see, what we are seeing here is commitment and devotion like no other.
Elisha shows that he is All-In.
At a glimpse, you think big deal all he did was leave a job and follow Elijah but you have to understand the context.
Vs 19 tells us that he was driving the 12th pair of oxen.
Its not settled exactly on if he was the only one on the twelth pair or that he had 12 oxen paired on one yoke.
The area where he lived had very tough ground.
Either way, it was very obvious that his family and where he worked was very well off.
Oxen were not cheap and neither was mass amounts of land.
That would have been a privewledge for the wealthy.
This was hard work.
Being All-In for Jesus requires a sacrifice.
Can you imagine how tough his job was.
Some of the toughest men I know today are farmers.
There isnt much they cant do.
But they have thousands of dollars worth of equipment that they use and Elishah was using animals.
Its tough work.
All day youre sitting there staring at the south end of a northbound ox.
Then out of the blue, here comes Elijah saying come and serve the Lord with me.
When Elijah calls him he first throws his cloak around him.
This is the same cloak that Elijah would use to strike the water and split the sea in two.
Its also the same cloak ELisha would use to split the Jordan in two.
I dont know about you but when I read the phrase “threw his cloak around him” I think about me and Rachel walking down the beach and her being cold and me throwing my coat around her. Good move but weird in the middle of the summer for Elijah to do this to Elisha.
This signified more than that.
In those days, a king would only throw his robe around you if he saw you as an honor.
For a king to do that would put you on the same level as a king.
What does Elisha do?
He says let me say goodbye to mom and dad.
Elijah understood the importance and urgency of following after God.
It was now.
He knew the potential distractions that could take place between elisha saying goodby and leaving.
Jesus uses a similar example doesnt he.
Hold your place in 1 Kings and Look at Luke 9: 57-62
All of these responses are important but pay special attention to the last reply.
The man says exactly the same thing that Elisha said.
And then Jesus replies with a response about a plow.
Yes yes yes yes.
I remember when i first moved to south Mississippi.
I wrestled with the decision.
I didnt know anyone and had never left Knoxville.
I remember the night before I decided to move that I decided to trust Him.
I decided that following God was more important than my comfort.
It was more important then seeing my nephews grow up.
It was more important than spending time with my aging parents, it was more important than anything I could ever hold onto.
I can honestly say that if I had not made that decision, I would not be here speaking to you tonight.
I am so thankful I chose Jesus over my own comfort.
When you give up All for God you get All of God.
Here is what Elisha does next he takes his whole livlihood.
Slaughters the oxen and uses the cart to throw a neighborhood BBQ.
Now we dont have any more context from here besides that we know he left and served with Elijah.
But could it be that he burnt it because he didnt want to have the safety net of home or the temptation return.
All Elisha wanted was to rely on God thats all he needed.
SOME OF YOU ALL NEED TO BURN YOUR CARTS AND KILL THE OX< YOU NEED TO TAKE SOME RADICAL ACTIONS TOWARDS SIN, WE WILL TALK MORE SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THAT IN THE MONTHS TO COME.
God is not satisifed with asking you to follow Him tomorrow.
He isnt satisfied with you getting your ducks in a row and then following Him.
We are on His timeline not our own.
Every moment wasted not following God is a moment spent in death and destruction.
Those moments arent worth it.
Give it all Up and Give it all up now.
There are numerous example of this in scripture and its like God is yelling to us as His Children to turn to Him and to do it now.