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When You Should Stop Trying…

Go All the Way

This week, I was sitting in the little cafe on 4th and Wall Street, finishing up my workday. I usually listen to music while I work, which means having a tab open in my web browser to YouTube.

I also watch a lot of motivational videos, and I guess YouTube decided that I should hear another one when my current “music” video ended.

The video was soft music, and a deep voice reading a poem. I had never heard the poem before, and to be honest, I was too engrossed in my work to really pay attention.

Then, I heard this line of the poem that caused me to pause my work and pay attention:

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.”

Man, did that hit me like a ton of bricks!


Because I am an extreme case of a dabbler. I play a little guitar, a little drums, a little bass, and little piano… (quantitatively speaking, not referring to size… I play instruments of regular size. Yes, that’s a corny joke.)

Being a “jack of all trades” is great when you want to “do it all,” but the end result is not really mastering anything.

Would you rather play a little piano, and a little guitar, or be really amazing at one of them?

But, musical instruments, honestly, is just one of many areas of my life where I am proficient at many things, but a true master of none.

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.

You can get by in life okay if you’re a dabbler. I have a pretty good career and get paid a salary most people would be happy with. But, secular success means very little.

What about the Kingdom of God?

So many people dabble in the things of God and match time with things of the world. They get familiar enough with God to talk wise about Him, but they never go very deep.

They go to church. They live a “Christian” life.

They do what is traditionally thought of as being a Christian. But, they aren’t consumed by it.

Jesus said,

“If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

Does that sound like He’s looking for spiritual dabblers?

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.

When was the last time your existence was utterly consumed with Jesus?

When was the last time His business consumed your thoughts from waking to sleeping? And, sometimes, even in your dreams?

Take a look at your life. Take an inventory of your daily planner. What is the recipient of your very best efforts, the most of your time, and the most significant chunk of your budget?

Are you late for church, but on time for work?

Do you stay up to date with your favorite shows, but neglect a daily relationship with prayer or the Bible?

Do you spend thousands on entertainment and luxury, but struggle to give toward the work of God?

Will you stay up nights catching up on work, but limit God to a couple of hours of church every week?

Where are your priorities?

If Jesus was to see your plans, goals, and dreams, would He say you were qualified to be His disciple?

Here’s another thing He said,

“…whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. “

Do we measure up to that?

Or, do we align our life with our own plans and desires, and tell ourselves that Jesus didn’t really mean it?

We live in a world where wealthy and influential celebrities are hanging themselves. They have everything. They have achieved the pinnacle. They tie something around their neck and jump.


Because they have given their all – they have gone all the way – but for the wrong pursuit. And, when they get to their wildest dreams, they realize it holds no fulfillment.

They lose everything to find their life, and then they lose it too.

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.

What’s the point of 100% selling out to anything? In business, going all-in means reaping the reward of being the best. Only those who give it their all really succeed – at least to the point where we use them as examples in motivating ourselves to achieve.

Selling out to God is not a one-way transaction. Being His disciple is not a one-way street.

When we sell out – when we go all the way – He responds in turn. He is looking for vessels of honor that can hold his anointing.

Every Christian wants His power coursing through us. We want our prayers of faith to be answered. We want to save souls. We want to make an impact in the Kingdom. We want to be David, and Deborah, Paul, and Peter, Jonathan and his armor-bearer.

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.

My prayer is that you let God utterly consume you. That, you make it the very first priority in your life. That Jesus comes first – His purpose comes first.

His Kingdom comes first.

Go all the way! Forsake it all for the Kingdom.

When you lose your life for His sake, you will find it!

The Refuge is a growing community of believers, dedicated to living our lives according to the Word of God, showing the love of Jesus in our world, and growing individually and collectively in our walk with God. If you're looking for a friendly church in downtown Seattle, we would love for you to be our guest!

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