If our relationship with God does not cost us, we will value it little.
There is a cost to leadership. There is a cost to being a follower of Christ. If we fail, it becomes easier for others to fail. Someone once said, "When we quit, we never quit alone. Like it or not, all of us have a level of influence. It is up to us to use whatever influence we have for good-to inspire others.
The good news is, if we succeed, we will make it easier for others to succeed. Just like we do not quit alone, we do not succeed alone. People are watching us. Feel the pressure? It is there.
The good news is, if understood properly, we can use pressure to cause us to rise higher and be the leaders God has called us to be. We can use every conflict, every challenge, every enemy to cause us to step up and rise higher. If our hand is kept in His, no weapon formed against us will prosper, Isaiah 54, but will be used for promotion.
If our relationship with God does not cost us, we will value it little. But if it costs us, and following Christ will, we will value our relationship with God tremendously. Does our faith cost us something? It should. If it does not, I suggest that maybe our ear needs to be towards heaven a bit more.
I had a friend who told me how the guys at work tease him because he follows Christ, does not run around on his wife, etc. I said, "I'm so glad you are getting persecuted!" (Some friend I am!) The Bible says that anyone looking to live a godly life can expect persecution! That tells me he is doing something right! We need to keep in mind that "God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him." What following Christ costs us is nothing compared to the reward we will get because of serving him. Yes there is the cost, but the value is worth it!
Paul Andrews is the pastor of Life Church, Augusta. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org