For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
The price that has to be paid
Following the Lord has always demanded a price to be paid. The apostle Peter says the Lord left us an example so that we might follow his footsteps. And his footsteps were full of misunderstanding, of the cross, and of hostility. So in the same way, the same happens in the believer's way of faith.
Man may be in a very comfortable state until suddenly things break down, and two options arise: to do the will of flesh and blood, or to do the will of God. The first is comfortable, but the second is not easy. When a glimmer of the truth of God has settled in the heart it forces us to follow the Lord, and will not leave us alone.
Indeed; something breaks down and is lost forever. To begin with, it's hard to let it go, because it constitutes part of who we were, sometimes a very important part of who we were. However, that also has to die, to open the way to new life. What breaks down not only affects us, but also those around us, the intimate circle of those who dream the same thing. Then new horizons arise, but so too do the pains.
Each new beginning is uncertain; the doubts get worse; the arguments come and go through our head, until the point where it hurts too much. And then the peace that only God can give comes to us, and our convictions are affirmed. We must live through many storms, only for God to then calm them down!
In the difficult moments it does us good to look to those who preceded us, be it in the Bible or later in history. Many paid a higher price than us; and they didn't dismay. They were sustained by "seeing him who is invisible". If we suffer something for Christ, we are blessed, because we will participate of the coming glory.
Things always become old and worn out in the hands of men, even the best things. Only God if we follow Him can always maintain us on a new way that doesn't wither. It may be the case that we saw a vision of God yesterday, five years, or even ten years back and we enjoyed the glory of God, but that today that glory has departed. In its place there are only outlines, forms, traditions. All that surrounds the glory the imprint that it left but the glory is not there.
That's why it's necessity for God to permanently renovate us. He must show us the way step by step. He must take us out of our comfort zone. We need to test what we are saying and living by the light of God, so that we do not transform ourselves into a copy of glory.
And that means paying a price. It can be so comfortable for everyone to continue just as they are, thinking that yesterday God blessed us and will continue doing so. But - take care! Perhaps it was the same thing, but it had the spirit in it before, but not any longer. In that time we trembled before God, we lived in a continuous dependence, but not any longer.
The things of the Spirit don't settle down nor are they conserved by ordinance or by regulations. The things of the Spirit are beyond the flesh and blood. To follow the Spirit we have to pay a price.