Prior to the September, 2014 publication of The Grave Robber, All In was Pastor Mark Batterson’s most recent book. From the start, the author boldly asserts that “Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous.” In other words, we cannot live as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. We are called to consecrate ourselves to Jesus, to be all in. When we’re full of ourselves, God can’t fill us with His Holy Spirit. The essential question is: Are we following Jesus or is Jesus following us?
Our highest privilege, Pastor Batterson states, is to carry the cross of Jesus. The key to true fulfillment is self-denial. Without a test, there is no testimony. It is when we exercise our faith that God reveals His faithfulness. Yet, if we desire that God change our circumstances, we need to change as well. We must press on and follow God beyond the point of inconvenience. God will be found in uncomfortable places and at inconvenient times. Although the first step always is the longest, hardest, and scariest, it is pivotal that we go all in and all out for God. Either fear or faith will be our dictator.
Pastor Batterson explains the difference between fear and faith. Fear is holding out on God, while faith is going all out for God. Faith must be experiential and transformational. Faith is acting as if God already has answered. If we let go and let God, He’ll use our gifts beyond our wildest imagination. God is looking for availability and teachability: “Here am I.” We need to come to the realization that no other person can glorify God like us or for us. Furthermore, when we truly understand the life-giving truth that we’re worth dying for, we become fearless even when we’re defenseless. The author concludes:
“There never has been and never will be anyone like you, but that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you. . . . You are absolutely irreplaceable in God’s grand scheme.”
Going all in and all out is the baseline. God will settle for nothing less.