Are You “All In” For Victory?

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?

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  • Rajeev


    • Thanks Rajeev! I appreciate your encouragement!

  • Hi Chris! I love this. ALL – that is the key. We try so hard to hold on part of things we think we can control or produce, but it’s only when we surrender ALL that we can really allow ourselves to be vessels for the things that are greater than us. For doing the things God wants us to do. To me it’s a trust issue, but one thing I’ve learned is that of all the things, people, or place you can trust, God and His rest is the only place you’ll be a surefire winner. Great analogy here!

    • Thanks Marlee! You are exactly right – it IS a trust issue.

      The huge disconnect is between our knowledge that God is trustworthy and our feelings that tell us we cannot possibly surrender EVERYTHING! When we can ignore the feelings and embrace our knowledge of God’s faithfulness, we can experience all He has for us. This is just tough to do!

  • Do you want to just take over writing my blog for me? These posts are hitting exactly on my heart with regard to victory. Great job! I wrote a post a while back that fits nicely with your “all in” theme in this one. Here’s the link:

    • Thanks Kari! I think we both agree this is a HUGE topic that many people overlook. I hope we can convince them otherwise!

      • Absolutely! I am glad we are both working on it to cover it as much as possible. I hope to not to duplicate what you’re writing, but I think I might branch off in some areas. We’ll see what the Holy Spirit does with the topic. Thanks for the inspiration.

        • Look forward to seeing where He takes you with it…

        • Look forward to seeing where He takes you with it…

  • I just finished an article for Jon at Jon Stolpe Stretched about a couple of lessons I learned while in Alaska on a short-term mission trip. One thing I learned was how I was holding back and not being “all in.” Fear has held me back more than I like to admit. Knowing that is helpful. Applying the truth and making change now become the steps needed to go “all in” with God.

    • Fear comes in many shapes and sizes, which often masks its presence. I am some of it has been revealed to you and you are making change. We all need to do the same thing to some degree!

  • Pingback: How Do You Plan For Victory? - Christian Faith At Work()

  • As a follow up on this, I can personally attest to this fact – the less you have invested the more likely you are to go “all in”. Only those who have experienced the risk of losing it all really can understand the risk of an “all in” investment. I never understood that until I almost lost it all, and now I am “all in” for my family, my Father in heaven, and what my future has in store for me. Many of us say we do not play poker because it is gambling, but sadly many of those same people gamble far more with their daily lives because they are afraid to risk going truly “all in.”

    • Very true, Coach. If we could only see exactly what we are truly gambling on every day, then I bet our decisions would change!