Monday, 30 January 2012

All in?

Long before the term "all in" was popularized with the recent poker craze on TV, it was a biblical call.  I have read some good books lately, but one classic stands out to me.  Long before I became aware of contemporary books on the subject, I was impacted by one from Watchman Nee titled, "The Normal Christian Life".  In it, Nee tells us that what we think is the "normal" for Christians really isn't normal at all.  In fact, what is the "average" Christian experience in our country is far away from what the Bible teaches.  The "normal" that the Scriptures call us toward is seen as "extreme" or "radical".  And it scares many people to consider becoming "normal" in the biblical sense.  Watchman Nee lived this "normal" life by spending the last two decades of his life in a Communist prison camp.

We talk a great deal about commitment to the Lord, about the desire to be more holy.  But do we really understand what that means from a biblical standpoint?  Watchman Nee says in this book (p.77 in my edition), "What is holiness?  Many people think we become holy by the eradication of something evil within.  No, we become holy by being separated unto God."  This is the concept of consecration.  Being holy unto the Lord means being called out of this world--its desires, its thinking, and separated unto God.  Completely.  Wholly.  Without reservation.

"'Come out from among them and be separate', says the Lord." (II Cor 6:17)  I must admit that for years I balked at this call.  To be completely consecrated was a fearful concept because I loved the things of this world far too much.  But I have found that it is the only place where true peace and joy are found.  The normal Christian life is "all in".  And I've decide to push all my proverbial poker chips to the centre of the table.

Are you "all in"?

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