THE COST OF GOING ALL THE WAY WITH GOD
by David Wilkerson
[An excerpt from his book: Hungry For More Of Jesus, chapter11]
One of the fastest ways to lose friends is to go all the way with God. Once you become serious about spiritual matters---forsaking all you idols, taking your eyes off the things of this world, turning to Jesus with all of your heart and hungering for more of Him---you suddenly become a religious fanatic. And soon youll experience the worst rejection of your lifetime.
Why this change?
When you were a lukewarm Christian you were no trouble to anyone, not even the devil. You were neither overly sinful nor overly holy. You were just another of many halfhearted believers, and your life was quiet and untroubled. You were accepted. But then you changed. You got hungry for more of Jesus and you could no longer play church games. You repented and turned to the Lord with all your heart. Down came your idols of money, fame, pleasure, sports---anything and everything that was more important to you than Jesus. You began to dig into Gods Word. You stopped pursuing material possessions and became obsessed with pursuing Christ. You entered a new realm of discernment and began to see things in the Church that before had never bothered you. You heard things from the pulpit that broke your heart. You saw other Christians compromising as you once did, and it hurt you.
In short, you were awakened, turned around, made broken and contrite in spirit, and God gave you a burden for His Church.
And the result? Now your friends and family think youre crazy. Instead of rejoicing with you or encouraging you, they ridicule you, mock you and call you a fanatic ...
A few years ago [this was written in 1992] the Holy Spirit awakened me and I began to embrace the Lord's call to holiness. I got serious about walking in God's truth, and His Word became life to me. I began to see things I'd never seen before, and I wanted to share them with everybody. I called ministers on the phone and explained what God was saying to me. Many came to my office to see me. I opened up my Bible to them, weeping, and pointed out the glorious truths of full surrender and heart purity.
I thought these ministers of God would see these truths, too---that they would love the Word and fall on their knees with me to pray for a new touch of God. Instead, most of them just blinked and looked puzzled. They said things like, "Are you sure you aren't going a little overboard?" or "That's a little heavy for me." The more I sought God, the less I saw of them. It was as if they were throwing cold water in my face. They didn't want to hear anything the Lord had shared with me.
Again, if this has happened to you since God awakened you, you are not alone. Gods Word warns you what to expect if you are determined to go all the way with Him.
"Jesus warned, "If you were of this world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of this world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" (John 15:19).
Show me a believer who has become both a lover and a doer of the truth, and I'll show you one who has been rejected and persecuted by the entire lukewarm Church. Rest assured, if you give up on this world, it will quickly give up on you.
Jesus had many followers---that is, until the word He preached was perceived to be too hard and demanding. The miracle-loving crowd heard His claims and forsook Him, saying, "This is too hard! Who can receive it?" Then Jesus turned to His disciples and asked, "Will you also turn away? " or, in other words, "Is My word too hard for you too?" Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68).
No, Peter and the rest of the disciples would not walk away. They loved the world that most people said was too harsh and demanding; they knew it was producing in them eternal values. They wanted to follow the truth, no matter what the cost.
This is the question every Christian must fact in these last days: Will we turn aside from the truth that convicts us---that points out our sins and commands us to tear down our idols? Will we ignore truth that tells us to take our eyes off materialism, off the things of this world and off ourselves? Will we allow the Holy Spirit to probe and expose us?
Multitudes of Christians today do not love the truth. God says it is because they hide their sin and secretly take pleasure in unrighteousness. These compromising pleasure-lovers are deceived but, like the Jews of Jesus' day, they are convinced they see clearly. They believe that they are God's children, but they reject ferociously every word that exposes their deep, inner secrets and lusts ...
If you intend to go all the way with Christ, you must be prepared to bear His sufferings. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you
All things they will do to you for My names sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me (John 15;18, 21).
Who reproached Jesus, heaped shame upon His head and vilified His name as filthy? It was the man-centered religious crowd! Just as Christ walked in this world and was subject to its rejection, so are you. If the world persecuted and reproached Him, they will do the same to all who die to self for His sake.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon