All or nothing. This is a common phrase we hear frequently. It simply means to be completely devoted to something. It shuns halfheartedness. It is anti fence sitting. One of the most common contexts that we apply the all or nothing mindset to is relationships. When we marry, the unspoken mentality is all or nothing, meaning that each of the individuals is completely devoted to the other.
Could you imagine a marriage where the bride or groom had vows such as, “I John take you Jane…sometimes, to be my wife….when it is convenient, to have a to hold…when I am around, for better or for worse…or until I’m bored, for richer or poorer…unless I want more stuff, in sickness and in health…unless you get on my nerves.” Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? When we enter into a relationship, especially one of such significance, the relationship itself demands all or nothing.
In Luke 5:27-28 we witness the all or nothing moment taking place in the life of Levi. He is at work, doing his thing, collecting taxes from his own people, most likely skimming some off the top for himself. He then shouts out, “Next” and looks up and there stands Jesus, the Son of God. Immanuel says two words “Follow me.” Just two words, that’s it. However, what is more amazing is the lack of words by Levi.
Levi doesn’t say, “Excuse me?” Levi doesn’t say, “Let me finish up what I am doing and I will be with you in a moment, God.” Levi doesn’t say, “Let me submit my letter of resignation, talk with my wife, talk with my financial advisor and then I will get back with you.” The power of Jesus’ two words was so irresistible that Levi responded in the only logical way he could, obey.
This was Levi’s all or nothing moment. When Jesus showed up at his office and said, its time, Levi couldn’t sit the fence between his desires and God’s desires. This was Levi’s wedding day. It was entirely Jesus, or entirely him. His choice would have eternal consequences.
Levi chose the better path. He got up and left the old life behind him. Was this hard? It doesn’t appear so in the story. As he heard the Son of God say, “Follow me,” it was the only thing that made sense, to obey. In that moment, Levi put his faith in Christ, and trusted Him with his future. He didn’t sit the fence. He counted the cost and chose Christ over the world. Right now Levi is in Paradise, in the presence of God. Do you think he regrets his decision he made 2000 years ago? Absolutely not.
It is almost ridiculous to think that Levi could have chosen a few gold coins, over the unsearchable riches of God’s Grace. Sadly, many people do this every single day. The call to follow Christ has gone out to many of you, yet some of you have not left everything and chosen to follow Christ. You are simultaneously a tax collector and a follower of Christ, which really means that you are just a tax collector.
Today, heed the call…all or nothing.