God Doesn’t Want Part of Us, He Wants All of Us—Our Whole Heart
When we follow Jesus we must do so with all our heart. There is no turning back to what we left behind. He wants our full attention, not part of it. We must go all in for Jesus.
Jesus gives his followers various instructions about what they must do to be part of team Jesus. He tailors his words to the individual situations of the people who ask what they must do to inherit eternal life. His most common response is, “Follow me.”
He says this a couple dozen times. All four of the biographies of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) include this instruction (such as Matthew 16:24).
To go all in for Jesus starts when we follow him.
No Turning Back
When we follow Jesus, we abandon our old path because we’re on a new one. There is no turning back. When Lot and his family run for their lives before their city of Sodom is destroyed, God says, “Don’t look back.” Lot’s wife does. She doesn’t make it.
Though the way forward, the path to life, was clear, Lot’s wife worried about what she was leaving behind. She had a divided heart, and it cost her her life (Genesis 19:17, 26).
Jesus says, “People who look back when they’re plowing aren’t fit to be on my team” (Luke 9:62). A person who is plowing and turns around will plow a crooked line. To go straight, the person plowing must focus on what is ahead.
To successfully go all in for Jesus means that we must look straight ahead and not turn around.
All Our Heart
Both the Old and New Testaments tell us that God wants us to pursue him with our whole heart. This is most often found in Deuteronomy, where it sometimes adds all our soul and all our strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Later, when a teacher asks Jesus to identify the most important commandment, he says we must love God with all our heart and soul and mind. Then he adds a second one that we must love others as much as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40).
To go all in for Jesus means that we love him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
To follow Jesus with all our heart, there is no turning back. We must go all in.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.
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