All In

Have you been keeping your distance from Jesus? Do you believe he is the Son of God but you just don’t want to get too close? You don’t want to go ‘all in’? You don’t want to have to give up things you enjoy?

Many of us are like Zacchaeus. When he found out that Jesus was coming, he really wanted to see Jesus so he ran ahead and climbed into a tree to get over the heads of the crowd. He didn’t fight through the crowd so he could get close to Jesus. He kept his distance.

But that’s not how it works with Jesus. When he saw Zacchaeus, Jesus looked right at him and said, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly, ” Luke 19:5 Getting close to Jesus changed Zacchaeus’ life forever.

And that is what we need to do if we want to experience the love and joy of a relationship with Jesus. We need to get up front and personal with him. Get out of our trees. Get out of our old habits and traditions.

The only way to genuinely know Jesus is to go ‘all in’.

That’s my story. I had a close relationship with Jesus as a child but wandered as a young adult. Then I came back to church but stayed on the sidelines – enjoying the benefits of a spiritual family but not taking my relationship with God too seriously.

I knew I was on the right track but inside I was miserable and empty. When God challenged me to put him first in my life, I felt I had nothing to lose so I went for it. That’s when I found the love, grace, joy peace and purpose I was looking for. It was almost immediate.

I didn’t have to give up things I liked. I took some things out of my life because I didn’t want them anymore. The things I like have gradually changed the closer I’ve gotten to God.

And the closer to God I get, the easier it is to hear him speak and see him move. It just keeps getting better.

If you’ve been been keeping your distance from Jesus,

you have no idea what you are missing.

God is challenging you today to go ‘all in’.

Our High Places…….

the places in our minds and hearts that we keep for ourselves.

Our behaviors that aren’t right but we accept them – that’s just how we are.June 3 2014 our high places

Our thoughts that are negative, mean and selfish – but we keep going back there.

Our actions that are not in line with God’s directions to us…….but we’re ok with them.  Or we just ignore them.  They aren’t THAT bad.

These are our high places.

We keep them separate from our relationship with God.  We don’t let his redeeming power into these places.  They are ours.

When Jehoshaphat in 1 Kings cleaned up the evil in Judah, he kept some high places which were places for idol worship.  He didn’t remove them and we read that the people still had not set their hearts on God.  They hadn’t fully committed.  They kept the high places which separated them from fully experiencing the love and blessing and protection of God.

What are our high places?

What is holding us back from being fully, totally committed to God?

This last year has been eye-opening for me.  I would have said I was full committed to God before but, since I’ve started seriously memorizing his word, I’m discovering a whole new level of interaction with God.  His words roll around in my head all day long.  I find knew meaning and understanding as I memorize each verse that I never got from just reading it – even though I’ve read it over and over.  God is expanding my insight and wisdom as he writes  over the lies and misunderstandings in my brain with his truth – a truly supernatural process.

We read good news in 2 Chronicles that Judah prospered and Jehoshaphat’s faith grew.  He became devoted to the Lord and finally removed all of the high places from Judah.

There is no better time than today – right now – to open up our high places to our Father of Grace and become fully committed to God.

Please help us grow and become completely devoted to you, Abba Father.