The cost of becoming a Christian is often talked about by those proclaiming the gospel. In one sense it is said to be free for the asking and that is true. One must merely ask the Lord to enter his heart and lead and guide him in life. But in another sense “To know the deeper things of God, one must give up everything else” (A. B. Simpson) and that is a price that must be paid. In the end, however, after it is all said and done and the choice been made, the joy of the Lord so out-ways any cost that may have been required that it is insignificant.

But there is another cost that will forever remain and that is the cost to those friends, family and acquaintances that are near to the new true and committed Christian. And until they themselves can embrace this new light, they will continually suffer the separation… and unknowingly antagonize the new believer, not understanding what has taken place. This will no doubt apply to unbelievers but also to the nominal believers as well for they have never completely been committed to the leading of the Lord in their lives. The reaction toward one that has truly experienced the leading of the Lord, one who knows the voice of God and instantly obeys, will typically be, “You call this Christianity?” or “Surely the Lord wouldn’t lead you in that direction!” or “I don’t think that is what Scripture means” or “Your past disqualifies you for His service in that way.” The true follower clearly sees this separation and, in a sense, has a choice; He can deny what he knows the Lord has asked him to do and submit to the advise of his fellows (in this way he can prevent suffering on the part of his friends which he would very much like to do) or stand firm on truth and let the cost be paid. The apostle Paul is our example here, for by man’s reasoning he was, based on his past, unqualified to lead the spiritual charge. But God had other things in mind!

Finally, however, there is really no choice for the one who has heard the voice of God, he must and is compelled to obey God over and above what the reasoning of man might be for the Lord said, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55: 9) He must allow those around him to suffer the things they do not understand for the sake of truth.

My God I am determined
For ever Thine to be,
I cannot live without Thee,
For peace is found in Thee…(My God I Am Determined)