Whenever God is preparing you for a new season of life, there will be a test. We face tests in order to receive promotion on the other side, so long as we give back to the Lord what He puts in. If you commit to God’s Word and take the vow to be “all in,” you will experience a radical transformation in your life.
In the book of Acts, the church was able to grow in response to God’s tests. The first test the people in the early church faced was to receive God’s Word. This may not seem like a test, but if you reflect on it, many people are eager for God’s presence, but very few are committed to His principles. If you are truly to be all in with God, it’s not enough to simply worship Him. You must also obey His Word. Worship without obedience is nothing more than flattery.
Because this group of people gladly received and kept God’s Word first, they passed the test and their church grew. They united around a shared vision to reach the world, keeping God at the center, and they were respected for it. It can be tempting to try to conform to what other people around you are doing, but you can only make a difference by being different! As believers, we are called the salt of the earth. We put salt on the table to add to and change the taste of our food. Likewise, it’s the distinction and difference you bring to the table that makes you valuable.
Many people in the early church were invested in helping the church grow and changing lives, even selling possessions and land to fund the work of the ministry. In the midst of an “all in” environment, there was one family that held back.
“But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” – Acts 5:1-2 (ESV)
Ananias and Sapphira failed the test. It was never about the amount of money given, but about the deception.
“Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.’” – Acts 5:3-4
They pretended to be all in while only giving a fraction. God will never settle for a portion of our hearts — we must seek Him wholeheartedly. God sees the infractions we commit when we only give a piece of what we owe to Him. Because of their deception, Ananias and Sapphira died. Sometimes, God has to get serious to get His people to quit playing around. He knows those who love Him will always rise up to meet His standards! Standards are what separate the mediocre from the exceptional.
There will be seasons where God makes life a little rougher to test where you’re coming from. There will be seasons when He asks more of you because He’s testing the sincerity of your heart. His desire is never for us to fail these tests; in fact, they’re open book! We can always look to the Word to see what God has to say about any given issue.
When we get into agreement and alignment with God — when we commit to being all in with Him — we activate His life changing, world changing power.
Living in Grace and Peace,
Dr. Derek Grier
Click here to read the message notes: All In Part 4 – The Finale
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