By David Stahl

Now I am not a poker player nor do I watch poker (Texas Holdem) on TV, okay maybe as I surf I will stop and hear a player say “I am all in,” now this gets my attention.  When you are “all in” you are betting all of your chips (money) that you have the best hand and are totally committed. You have nothing left to play with; sink or swim, fish or cut bait, your future in the game all depends on the hand you are betting on.  Now the rewards are great usually you double or sometimes triple your chips (money) if you win, but the cost is high.  If you lose it means you lose everything.  As I look at our walk with the LORD this is where we all need to be, “all in,” but that is not what I see or hear today and sadly even in myself at times.  I will be the first to tell you my brothers and sisters that I have not made it, I have not forsaken all to follow the LORD, but that is where we must be to receive God’s the best for our lives.  Brother Peter said to Jesus, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?”  Matthew 19:27),  if so where did he get the boat to go fishing in John 21:3?  It was not about the disciples fishing, but about the disciples going back to a previous revelation (fishing), they were not “all in” as they had said and thought since Jesus died (in their eyes) better go back to what we used to do before we heard of Jesus. My brothers and sisters we must be “all in” now and more important in the future. The LORD has satisfied our spiritual hunger to some extent, however, no one of us should be totally satisfied.  Rather we should be holding our spirit before the LORD seeking more. There is so much available to us from the One who is the source of all life and truth.  There is yet before us an expansive field of spiritual reality and we are to venture  into it with our eyes closed (into darkness) and our heart open as the Holy Spirit leads us into new discoveries.  Our present attainment of spiritual life and experience is the place to which we have been brought through Jesus Christ our LORD.  As I have been teaching at our Home Group Meeting  the process is:   training, exercising, and obedience and the more we are trained by exercising in our lives the more we will be obedient to God and yes also to man.   Now God has a reason for all of this.  All of this is a preliminary training school for the ages yet to come.  It is in the here and now that we make certain qualifications and are approved for our placement in the eternal ages.  These qualifications will not be given to us spontaneously when we get there oh no rather, we are being qualified for them here during this present time.  Then in the eternal ages to come that which has been acquired through discipline and training through the surrender (by going all in) of our old life to the resurrection of the new all of this will be projected upon another (higher) plane of living in the ages that are yet to come.  Our present life is a test it is only a time to qualify for our next position in Christ.  These are the treasures Jesus was talking about when He said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  (Matthew 6:19-20)  Jesus was not talking about money or gems He was talking about the “true” treasures that will enable us to move and function with Him in our next life.  Whatever we build up of spiritual value, vigor, and vision during our lifetime this is all that the LORD will take of us into eternity. We who have been touched by eternal truth and are seeking to go further, must have a correct perspective and goal.  The LORD is very busy building His Body, of which we are a member, training it and doing a thousand things within and for this to happen we must come to place in God where we are “all in,” no matter the cost.  The day is coming when we will cast our crowns at His feet, but before then we must count the cost to acquire the crowns. Each of us has a certain degree of spiritual hunger. This hunger rests on certain levels of spiritual obedience and experience, ever seeking to take us further.  We do not belong (I must keep telling myself this time and time again) here; we are here for just a few fleeting years of training and discipline and then we will be taken. We are to continually move from one level of spiritual understanding and experience to another.  This is determined by the amount of spiritual revelation that we have obtained through our responses to the LORD’s presence and His workings within us.  Because we are reacting agents, we learn our lessons through these experiences.  We were made this way in the structural law of our being so this might be possible.  I have discovered that I must carefully order my steps as I walk with the LORD.  I must be continually sensitive to His voice and responsive to His presence.  Then He will guide my path, as He disciplines and trains me in order to push me up into a higher order of spiritual reality and life. You know we become spiritually hungry on different levels, according to our commitment and dedication toward the LORD.  Sometimes people say, “oh I know that as I heard it before tell me something new.”  But first we must experience the depths of the word we heard.  We must come to realize that there are a thousand facets of truth in this glorious treasure of redemption, which radiate from it continually.  All revelation is purely a progressive matter.  It is eternally moving and is inexhaustible.  Anyone who tries to pull it down and label it into a fixed doctrinal pattern will only hinder and frustrate its full outworking.  We must always remember that spiritual truth is a progressive revelation which continually expands and moves upward, as Job said, “as the sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:7)  The truth I have for us today is, “are we all in” with God?  It is wonderful to gather other truths, but commitment and dedication will never be a truth that God overlooks in us nor will they be a truth we will never have to pay for.  In my spirit I am troubled by the way Christians (especially in America) handle the things of God, but I know God has a plan and He will bring it to an end no matter what we say and feel. Take heed, hear me Christians of America:  look at the world you live in, look at your neighbors dying and going to hell, look at your lesbian and sodomite friends who shake their fist at God in defiance calling lust love, good evil, and evil good. Look at the Supreme Court with each major ruling contradicting God and His word moving America further and further from the truth of God’s word and closer to all out debauchery. So now God has given us leaders and rulers after our own heart, vile and reprobate. My friend God is looking to see who is “all in” and who is willing to sell out.  The rich young ruler was not.  God is looking to see who will stand up for His truth and His word or who will compromise the truth wanting to be politically correct, not wanting to offend. Looking at those Christians who have sold their soul to a political party (the donkey or elephant) saying, “if we just can get our man in the White House” thinking their man will lead them to the land that flows with milk and honey when in reality they have been deceived duped, and taken advantage of for more political gain, fame, and money.  Oh Christians please look at what once was and what is now.  Look at how far we have fallen in knowing the truth and morality (shamefully setting aside the things of God) in the last 10 years.  Has our God lost His power and ability or have we sold God out for other’s powers and authority?  James 1:8 tells us this type of Christian “is double minded and is unstable in all their ways.” When the Bible says “all” it mean all.  In all of their ways these Christians are unstable.  Oh I warn you my Christian brothers and sisters God is NOT mocked! When I heard the Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage He brought these verses to my attention,  “The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. 16  The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands Higgaion Selah.17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.  (Psalms 9:15-17) Scoff and laugh at me all you want. Shake your fist at God all you want, but in the end God gets the final word whether you believe Him or not.  Take heed my Christian friends God is watching to see who is “all in.”  My friend America is a sinking ship spiritually you better be in the life boat.