Wide Open

President Dwight Eisenhower told the story of a farmer he knew when he was a child whose words had stuck with him all his life. He and his father went to the farmers home to look at a cow the old man had for sale. Eisenhower’s father asked the farmer if he knew anything of the cow’s pedigree…he didn’t. He then asked the farmer about the cow’s butter fat production…he knew nothing of that either.

Eisenhower’s father then asked about the animals annual milk production. Upon this last question the old farmer finally replied, “Look mister, she is an honest cow, no matter when you come she will always give you all she’s got.”

If you really want to know what separates the average and mediocre from the excellent and extraordinary, you won’t find it in the pedigree or production, you will find the difference lies in whether or not one is willing to give it all they’ve got. Half-heartedness and apathy are the seeds that flourish into a lush and vibrant garden of ever increasing mediocrity.

I have never met anyone who lived a life of great impact who was not overcome with passion and totally sold out to something. I have discovered that uncommon commitment allows common people to produce uncommon results.

Now, let me tighten the focus a little because my intention with today’s blog is to not simply get you to reflect on your level of commitment and passion for life or achieving your dreams, although there is nothing wrong with that and I hope you will. But rather to ask you, how passionate and committed are you about God?

I am sure you just answered to yourself… “VERY.” But as they say, the proof is in the pudding.

After being in full time ministry for seventeen years and spending almost eleven of those as a Pastor, I can tell you that there are committed Christians and uncommitted Christians. I know and have ministered to people who are saved but not sold out, they are believers in Christ but not bold in their daily walk with him, they are familiar with religious phrases and Christian speech but have no real power for living and constantly move from one defeated situation to another seemingly all their lives.

What is it that makes some people so committed to Christ that they sell out and live life wide open and those who find contentment simply living on the fringes and settle for a decaffeinated and sugar free experience with God? In my opinion and years of observation I believe it is simply a matter of PERSPECTIVE.

It’s not in one’s ability or opportunity over another but rather by the way each one perceives God and their relationship with Him. In fact, power in virtually every area of life is often determined by perspective.

The people who approach their commitment to God with a cavalier and half-hearted attitude are not bad people, they just simply have a perspective problem. There view of God is diluted and skewed.

The apostle Paul had this problem, he was plenty passionate but his view of Christ and the God he served was skewed, that is until a little episode on the Damascus road changed his perspective and allowed him to see the full reality of who it was he was dealing with. And throughout his writings from then on he constantly refers back to this moment where God did not merely convert him but forever changed his view and perspective of God.

From then on Paul’s life was marked by a very different passion, commitment and zeal. In fact, some people labeled him mentally disturbed and crazy. One of the ways you know you are highly committed and have the right perspective of God is when at times people think you’re crazy. They will say things like, “Why are you always at that church?” or “Why are you going on Wednesday you just went Sunday?” and my all time favorite, “You give how much of your income to that church?!?”

In fact, if nobody ever thinks there is something wrong with you….there is probably something wrong with you. Listen, authentic and deep experiences with God are supposed to make us different from the world, so we shouldn’t be surprised when at times we are not perceived to be normal by the world. I’m going to wrap this up so listen carefully….GOD..WANTS..ALL..OF…YOU.

He gave us his very best and he deserves no less.

So until next week, if you’re going to live for God…. LIVE IT COMPLETELY, LIVE IT FULLY…. LIVE IT WIDE OPEN.

(click and leave a comment below and tell me if I’m crazy)

All for Christ,
J. Mark Johns



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