In his book, The Christian in Complete Armor, William Gurnall (1616 – 1679) states, “O, this persevering is a hard word! This taking up the cross daily, this praying always, this watching night and day, and never laying aside our clothes and armour, I mean indulging ourselves, to remit and unbend in our holy waiting on God, and walking with God. This sends many sorrowful away from Christ, yet this is a saint’s duty, to make religion his everyday work, without any vacation from one end of the year to the other. These few instances are enough to show what need the Christian hath of resolution.”
The Christian faith is NOT a part-time job or hobby. It is a DAILY, LIFE-CHANGING experience that will cost us everything. That seems to be a hard thing for many to grasp or understand. We can’t just fight one or two battles, and then say “Okay, I’ve had enough!”, and sit down and relax the rest of our lives. No – not if we expect to gain heaven!
When Jesus was talking to many of His followers in John 6, and telling them the truth about what it costs to follow Him, we read in verse 60, “When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?'”, and then a few verses later, “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” (John 6:66). It’s interesting to note the chapter and verse number of that last verse there – because by walking away and turning their back on Jesus Christ, these disciples proved they were not true disciples. Oh, they probably thought all along, “Yes, I am following Him!” But, when they found out the difficulties involved, they proved the truth – they had no real life-changing faith.
It is NOT an easy road to heaven, but we MUST keep going, our faith MUST not waiver, and we MUST keep our eyes on HIM ALONE! It’s a DAILY task! We are NEVER on vacation, as Gurnall stated in his quote above. This is where the true followers are found, and the false followers fall away – when it gets down to how much does it cost? EVERYTHING!