You’ve heard (and likely had) the skeptic questions:
Why would a loving God allow evil?
Why would a loving God allow just one way?
Since God says he’ll give me what I want, why can’t I just go on living the way I want? Why do I have to live by someone else’s rules?
Taking the step of faith to believe God is who he says he is so that you can trust what he says about himself, you, the world in which you live, and the will and purpose he has for you is a biggie. It’s tempting to list the pros and cons of a life of faith, and since, prior to a choice to accept Jesus is the Son of God and your personal Lord and Savior, you are more familiar with what you know and live, and even if you’re uncomfortable where you are, the familiarity is a big, highlighted “pro” among your lists. You’re not the only one.
A man came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have life forever?”
Jesus answered, “Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. But if you want to have life forever, obey the commands.”
The man asked, “Which commands?”
Jesus answered, “‘You must not murder anyone; you must not be guilty of adultery; you must not steal; you must not tell lies about your neighbor;honor your father and mother; and love your neighbor as you love yourself.’”
The young man said, “I have obeyed all these things. What else do I need to do?”
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, then go and sell your possessions and give the money to the poor. If you do this, you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.”
But when the young man heard this, he left sorrowfully, because he was rich. (Matthew 19:16-22)
This man was seeking answers. More specifically, he was seeking Jesus’ answers. He wanted to know! Yet when faced with the truth, he decided he didn’t want to know that badly. He found a “con” in his pro/con list that he just couldn’t live with. He found his tipping point.
If you’ve already accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you’ve reached the tipping point, but don’t think that’s the end of all spiritual decisions for your life. Sure, you can be certain of where you’ll be spending eternity, but God never intended for you to stop thinking, learning, asking, and responding. He created you for a relationship with you, and he wants you to know him consistently more deeply. He will reveal himself to you, but you have to choice in how to respond.
When you read a command in Scripture that goes against how you’re living or what you prefer, how do you respond?
When you want to find out if something is in Scripture, do you search for what will confirm your assumptions, or do you search more thoroughly to get the big picture even if it means rearranging your assumptions?
Do you believe what other people say God says and wants, or do you widen the opportunities for learning by personally knowing God’s Word and yielding to the Holy Spirit for cautions, prompts, and convictions?
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Even if we don’t like his ways, we don’t change his ways; we simply do or do not respond in ways consistent with who he is and what he wills. A relationship with Jesus is a constant journey. It’s not a list of pros and cons, and it’s not a popularity contest of what you like best.
Seek a relationship of truth.
Seek a relationship of life.