Decisions and Their Cost

Bill Brinkworth

What makes the difference between a strong Christian and a weak Christian? Much of the time it has to do with a Christian’s making the right decisions, sticking with what was decided, and as a result, becoming spiritually stronger.

The pastor of a church usually has made the right decision at more than one point in his life. He had to make the right decision of going to church, attending Sunday school, maybe even not working on Wednesday night; so he could attend services, reading his Bible, and daily praying. After showing himself faithful with what God appointed him to do, God knew He could trust the man with further tasks.

Somewhere in his life, God spoke to his heart about full-time service and serving the Lord with his life. The man of God not only heard the call, but also committed himself to that task; obeyed the call and sacrificed whatever it took to reach that goal. He, too, may have been tempted financially to work another job, rather than trust God with what little he was making, so that his time would be available to preach and pastor. The right decisions were made. The man obeyed.

One of the most spiritual people you know most likely also came to a similar decision in his life, and chose the right, godly direction. No one just wakes up one morning and says, “I will be spiritual today from now on.” His faith and obedience to God grew as his trials and tribulations strengthened him.

He probably had a choice of prosperity and opportunity, and chose the direction of serving and living for God; no matter what it cost him, or how his life would deviate from what his own desires were. Perhaps he faced medical trials, where he put his faith in God, rather than worry about it. Perhaps he faced the ridicule of family or friends about his faith and faithfulness to the things of God. He made the right decisions to be in the right position that others could see that God was real to him, and that He was more important than what this temporary world offered him. His faith and obedience to God grew as he decided properly through each trial and tribulation he faced.

Sunday school teachers in church had to make the right decisions. Somewhere in their lives, the burden to teach others became so important to them that the service to God as a teacher was more valuable to them than that of having their own free time to do as they wished. Their ministry of teaching became more precious to them than their attending a football game during their study hours. It became more valuable to them than the money they had to give up to buy study material or treats for their class. As a result of paying the proper price their decision required, they were entrusted to be in the position they are today to be a blessing for the cause of Christ.

The faithful members of church also made the right decisions. Yes, they could have easily missed church, stayed home, and watched what they wanted on television. However, the hearing of the Word of God, and their edification in the things of God became more valuable to them than what they could obtain outside the Lord’s house.

No one may have missed them if they had gone to another church because their feelings were hurt by what the sermon pinpointed in their lives, or what was said by another church member. Still, the calling God gave them to join, participate, and attend His local assembly of believers was so needful to them, that they made the right decisions to not miss; no matter what.

On and on the list could go of people that did without or did what was not convenient for them to do, in order to please and obey God. Obedience was most urgent to them. Unfortunately, they are the minority in the body of Christ. Too many do not have their priorities the same as the above examples. Something in their lives became more important than God and obedience to Him.

Perhaps it was the first step, after they were saved, that was not crucial to them. Perhaps they too received the heart-tug to be baptized, start praying, or even daily read their Bible; but something was more important to them at the time. Maybe it was the fear of what others would think if they even looked “religious”. Perhaps, they would not even sacrifice getting in their car and driving to church to hear the Gospel, because an extra hour of sleep was more important to them. They had the same amount of time as those previously described who chose to obey and live for God. However, they hoarded that time for themselves and chose not to make God a priority in their life.

Maybe they did start out making the right spiritual decisions. Maybe it was spiritually further down their walk with Christ that they were convicted about something God wanted them to change, or do, but they were not willing to pay the price for it. Their wrong decision to not obey the leadership of God in their lives was a blunt “no” in God’s ears. That refusal cost them further requests by God. What would be the sense of telling them further things to do, if they were not doing what God had already had told them to do? The rest of their lives has been spent far from God, with only their self-interests being served, and not God’s interests.

They grew so far away from hearing the voice of God’s calling in their lives, that even a disaster in their lives, does not open their spiritual hearing. Perhaps, they still attend church. They hear the pastor’s words from the Word of God, but it does nothing to stir them anymore. Their hardened hearts are the “used-to-be’s” or “once-I-was-gonna’s”, and now they just sit and do not serve. They had the same opportunities to obey and serve, but they chose the temporal rather than that which would please God and allow Him to work in their lives. They, unfortunately, made the wrong decisions.

Since I have been saved, many have sat next to me in church. Many of them were newly saved, and sat longingly along side with their Bibles opened wide, spiritual-tongues hungrily hanging out and wanting to be fed from what flowed out of heaven from the pulpit. Where are they today? Their seats are vacant or occupied by others. Their Bibles may lie unused for years. They made the wrong decision, that shelved them from being used further by God.

Do not ever say or even think, "Well, it was easier for him to give up … so he could attend church, than what I have to give up.” That is a sign that even now, while you are thinking those thoughts that you are making a decision that does not involve the will of God in your life. The sacrifice God requires all of us to make is at the time, difficult for us, and a step in sacrificial obedience. Too many are not willing to pay the price it takes to possess Christian character. For those, the cost of God-centered choices, and sacrifices is too high an asking price.

If you have to admit, sadly, you have made the wrong decisions, it may not be too late to make the correct decisions. God is a second, third, or even a hundred chance God. Just the fact that you have a conviction about making wrong choices is a light showing that your heart is not completely hardened yet. There still may be the chance to make the right choices and serve God today. Doing it tomorrow will be the wrong decision. Saying “yes” to God’s command that rings in your heart will be the right one. Decide and obey today!

“Obedience to God is the most infallible evidence of sincere and supreme love to Him.” — Emmons

 This article was featured in The Bible View #219.

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