Have you ever been on a quest? I love a good adventure. I love to read about an adventure in a good book, watch a good adventure on TV, and hear about another’s true life adventure. Life in its greatest sense is an adventure.
Life with God is an even greater adventure.
We never know when we trust Him where it will take us, who we will meet, or the challenges we will have to overcome. Yet, so many refuse to trust Him because they are afraid of the risk.
Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of the adventure that will lie before them.
Afraid of the cost.
We get into our comfort zones and refuse to leave them. Not willing to “move from the boat to the water.”
We keep an unseen ledger sheet in our heads and our hearts and every cost is weighed out by what is to be gained. Too many times our fear of the cost outweighs the risk of our faith.
What would it cost vs. what we would gain revolves in a never ending battle in our hearts and our heads.
So what if:
- We confessed our sins and our faults to others. What would it cost us? What would we gain?
“Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16).
When we have secret sins that would mortify anyone if they knew about them, do we confess them? What would it cost us if we openly and honestly confessed our sins? (It’s not like God is asking us to publish our sins on every form of media possible. Rather, He is asking us to be open with a few people that will hold us accountable. Plus, those we have hurt or offended must be included in this process so forgiveness can be granted). We may lose our dignity. We may lose our reputations. We may lose favor. When we keep on sinning or cover up the sin, it becomes a cancer that eats away at our very souls. We never have the chance to be healed from the sin “that so easily entangles us” (Hebrews 12:1). Confession brings about healing.
- We loved as Christ loved us. What would it cost us? What would we gain?
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (I Peter 4:8).
The cost of love is sometimes the highest cost of all. “But God demonstrated His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). The love of God cost Him His Son’s life. Why? “To cover a multitude of sins.” (I Peter 4:8). Jesus’ righteousness became our righteousness. What if we loved someone else so much, our love covered their sins and changed them from an ugly cancer to a new creation in Christ? We do not have the ability to save them, but our love may be what causes them to seek Christ. Remember Jesus’ love for the woman at the well. What about the woman caught in the act of adultery? What about His faithful love for us? What if our love covered a multitude of sin in someone’s life and they were radically changed?
- We had the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. What would it cost us? What would we gain?
“If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O King. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17, 18).
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had so much faith in who God was that they were willing to tell the King, “Whether we live or die, we believe that God is God.” That is the faith of a mustard seed. That is the faith that moves mountains. Faith, that whether our prayer is answered how we pray it or not “Whether we live or die,” still believes that God is who He says He is. Then thanking Him for the work that He is doing in our lives through every situation, we resolve to walk through faith “making known His deeds among the people.” (Psalm 105:1). Sometimes deliverance does not come the way we pray, because God is doing a different work in us than answering our prayers the way we pray them would allow. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were delivered from the fiery furnace. It was many years, before Joseph saw the hand of God in the situation he had been placed. Yet, he never changed who he stood with…the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Through all the trials that Joseph endured, God changed him. The boy who boastfully proclaimed his dream of ruling over his brothers and strutting around like a proud peacock in his coat of many colors was transformed through his years in Egypt into a humble man who was able to confidently say, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:20). The cost of faith is great. We may never know like Joseph the good that God can bring from an evil situation, but we must always be confident that if we are walking by faith and able to pass the tests of morality and humility as Joseph did, God will mean it for good. We must have faith!
- We had the meekness/humility of Moses. What would it cost us? What would we gain?
“Now the man Moses was very meek (humble), more than all people who were on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3)
Humility often costs us our pride. We may have to confess our sins. We may have to admit someone else is right. We may have to swallow our pride and say that both opinions are right, but I choose to let your opinion or your way stand. Humility is costly, but pride is costlier. Humility may cause momentary pain, but pride usually costs us relationships. Look at the cost of Satan’s pride. Look at the cost of Nebuchadnezzar’s pride. Look at the cost of Peter’s pride. (Before the cock crows three times, you will deny Me.) Humility causes momentary pain with long term benefits. Pride causes momentary satisfaction with long term pain…not just for us but for those we lord our pride over. Will humility be your banner or will pride be your grave marker?
- We had the courage of Peter. What would it cost us? What would we gain?
“And Peter answered him, ‘Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’” (Matthew 14:28).
For each of these things – confession of sin, self-sacrificing love, faith, and meekness – courage must be used to execute them. The boat seemed safe. Ask the other disciples if they felt safe in the boat? Ask Peter if his risk of fear vs. courage was worth the sensation of looking at Jesus while walking on the water?
We are all on a journey, a quest. We all must answer the questions: What is the cost? What is the gain? The journey with Him is the choice we must all make. What are the things we must pack as we go on this quest of following God? Will you take with you confession of sin (vulnerability and authenticity), self-sacrificing love, faith, humility, and courage? Or will you take secrecy of hidden sin that eats away like a cancer, selfishness, doubt, pride, and fear? Will you reach for momentary pain and long term benefits or momentary satisfaction and long term pain? Only you can make the choice.