Pull Out All the Stops By Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom

Because it’s been so long ago, I can’t remember whose pump organ I played as a young girl. But I do remember the effort and coordination it took to coax the instrument into action and make the thing sing. It had about 17 knobs (stops) that could be pulled out to select the desired sound.  If I pulled out all the stops, it was as full and loud as I could get it (as long as my ankles didn’t wear out). It’s a hoot to play one of these grand old gems. The Beverly Hillbillies was a favorite show of mine and I was always impressed with the delightful music cousin Pearl got out of her pump organ.


All my life I’ve been surrounded by the enthralling sound of music. In the church sanctuary, many of us have sung the lyrics by Judson W. Van DeVenter: “All to Jesus I surrender; all to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live. I surrender all. I surrender all. All to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.” That’s quite a bold testimony song that’ll change your life if you truly mean what you sing. All for Jesus means none for Satan — zero, he gets nothin’. Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’.


As followers of Jesus, we must determine to “go for it” and pull out all the stops as we live for Him and represent Him. The account of Lot’s wife is a good example of a bad example. Her feet left Sodom, but her heart stayed. “When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, ’Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley’” (Genesis 19:17 NLT). She chose poorly when she disobeyed and looked back — and was promptly turned into a salt shaker. She’d been duly warned, but ignored it. Believers have three choices and we better choose excellently: Get in, get out, or get run over. Mrs. Lot started out in the right direction, but then her loyalty and determination fizzled out. She simply wasn’t all in for God and His plan for her life.


If believers will determine to do their part and live “full-court press,” God will provide all the tools we need to stand firm against the devil. With Jesus living inside us, being a Christian is “no hill for a climber.”  But we have to make the decision that we’re going to love and trust Jesus totally, no matter how tired we get pumping that instrument. We don’t want to quit before life’s song is over because we need to finish what we started.


“Surrendering all” and living full bore is absolutely possible. “I withstand [the enemy]; I am firm in faith [against his onset — rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to my brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world (1 Peter 5:9 AMP).


After choosing Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord, we must make up our mind to never give up, look back, or turn around. “And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that He is real and that He rewards the faith of those who passionately seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 TPT).


The Key: Be determined not to wind up on the kitchen table in a salt shaker.

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