I am not much of a poker player. In fact, I have not really played since college. At the same time, I do occasionally like to watch the World Series of Poker. I always get excited when one of the players senses victory and calls out, “All in!”
This is the second post in a series of posts on victory in this life. In my last post, I asked you to define “victory.” I also gave you the definition Jesus gave us as the standard we all should follow. If you did not read that post, you really need to take a minute or two to go do that now. It is the foundation for the rest of this series.
Going “All In”
For those not familiar with poker, going “all in” means you are putting ALL of your chips (money) into the pot and are fully committing to that particular hand you were dealt. You are holding nothing back!
If you win the hand, you win the pot and are able to continue. If not, you are completely out of the game as you have nothing left with which to bet.
Of course, poker is not the only place you will hear “all in” being used. You are not worth your salt as a coach or leader of any team if you have never asked your team to go “all in” at one point or another. If you have ever played any sports, you have most certainly been asked to go “all in.”
What Does It Mean?
So what exactly does “all in” mean?
When a coach or leader asks us to go “all in,” it means they want us to give everything we have (energy, focus, effort, etc.) to whatever strategy he has chosen to employ at the time. Whether it is the last play of a game or the launch of a new product, we are being asked to give everything we have to achieve success as it has been defined for us.
“All In” With God
Folks, the same is true in our life as a whole. We learned in the last post that Jesus defined victory in this life by referring to our relationship with God. In His definition, we are to go “all in” in our love for God and our neighbor.
He did not just ask us to love God, but to love Him with ALL of our heart, mind, and soul. He did not ask for a portion of our lives, but for ALL of our lives. For us to achieve victory in this life, we must submit our all to Him!
This is critical for all of us to accept AND to put into practice!
Giving Up Control
Back to the poker player, I want to be clear about why I get so excited when I hear them call out, “All in!” You see, at this point, there is nothing more they can do. The game, as far as they can control it, is over for them. The victory, or defeat, is out of their hands.
Again, this same idea applies to our relationship with God. He is not interested having us partially rely on Him. No, He wants our whole dependence to rest on Him and His provision. God wants to be our sole (and soul!) provider.
All In For Victory
He wants us to go “all in” in our relationship with Him. He wants us to go “all in” with Him as we seek victory in this life. He is faithful to make good on every one of His promises and to have our best interests at heart. Don’t forget, He DID create us. I think He knows what fulfills us.
One final point about the poker player. You want to know the funny thing about the moment in between them calling out, “All in” and them finding out whether they won or not? Watch their body language.
More often than not, you will see the pressure disappear from their body. They actually show huge relief. Their shoulders will sag and they will exhale in a way that says they have released control and can only now wait on the results.
If you will go “all in” with God, you will quickly realize that He can handle it. There is nothing more for you to worry about. The results are no longer up to you!
Once you submit, you can relax and enjoy the ride!
Are you already “all in” with God?
What victory do you think He wants for you?
What control do you need to release to Him?