While preparing for a weekend of talks to junior high students at Forest Home, I found myself wrestling with two truths I was trying to teach.
The theme set by the camp was “everything.” Not like, “teach whatever I wanted” everything. They were basing this on the “shema” in Deuteronomy 6 that Jesus quotes in response to the question, “What is the greatest commandment?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”
In other words, God wants our everything. As I read this over and over again for like the five thousandth time, I was reminded of two truths I needed to live out and communicate.
“EVERYTHING CAN’T BE EVERYTHING.”
First, if I give my all to something, then I can’t give my all to anything else. I think in a multi-tasking society, where we believe we can do 50 things at once, this is a profound reminder. I can give parts of me to lots of stuff, but if I want to give my all to God, then I can’t do that and give my all to anything else. Only one thing can be my everything.
When I let the opinions of people, the acquiring of stuff and the achievement pile become my top priority for a season, then it by default moves God out of first place. I can’t do that and say “yes” to this call in the Greatest commandment.
“AVERAGE IS THE ENEMY OF AWESOME.”
Second, I found myself wrestling with why it is that I find myself settling for less than “all of God in all of me in all areas of my life.” To that end, this observation proved profound for me spiritually this weekend as I taught it and personally processed it.
When I accept an average amount of God in my life, I miss out on the awesome that God has in store. In a world of comparison games, immediately we go to some sort of competition with that phrase. As in: Who can you be more awesome than? But the truth is, this call of God has NOTHING to do with comparison. Awesome is not defined as “better than,” it is defined as ALL of God in ALL of me! That is awesome.
It’s deciding that the phrase “it is what it is” in this context is flat out a cop-out. No, my spiritual life is not an “is what it is” reality. Our spiritual connection with God is never all it is or could be. There’s so much more. And to that end, Satan doesn’t need me to reject God to win; all he needs is for me to accept a moderate amount of God.
Bottom line, when I settle, it’s a victory for the enemy.
So this week, I’m wresting with these two questions as I search my soul:
1. Is my top priority in my schedule this week something God can be and is fully present in?
2. Where have I settled for average when God had a plan for awesome?