I have been talking about relocation for a while, and the reasons for doing so are growing in number and size. It’s easy for me to talk about this because I made the decision and paid the price for that decision a long time ago. And, the pain of that price has faded. But, that’s not your situation.
For you, this price is yet to be paid. You look around at the life you have, and the thought of giving it all up is more than you can bear. I wish with all my heart that I could spare you that, but I can’t.
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Relocation – The Price is High
I spend a lot of time talking about ‘the big picture’. I talk loudly and incessantly about the implications of certain events, and what you must do to survive them. Very rarely do I talk about the personal price that you will pay in heeding my warnings.
That personal price was brought home to me last night as I was answering an email. The writer had ‘gotten the message’ and understood the price, and the heartache was huge. And, I so much wanted to say that it wasn’t going to be as bad as they thought – but, that would have been a lie.
My Own Story
I’ve lived in Asia for more than 18 years. Fifteen of those years were spent in the western side, in the Middle East – Israel. And, I’m creeping up on four years on the eastern side, here in Taiwan. Where I’ll be next is… well, hard to say, but I believe that God will send us back to Israel.
I’ve had a love for Israel since my early teens, so it was an easy decision to go to Israel. It was 1992. I was 26. I’d had eight years of college and was ready to take on the world. But, instead of changing the world, I wound up the one being changed.
You can probably tell that I’m a pretty hard-headed guy. So, it takes some really rough handling to get my attention and convince me to change. And, I still bear the scars of those battles with God.
I thank God that I lost every one of those battles. And, I guess that I should thankful for all that I’ve lost in the struggle, but I need to be honest with you. Deep down, I resent having had to go through all that. There’s a part of me that complains about how badly I’ve been ‘mistreated’. And, at those moments in time when I complain the loudest, God always reminds me of the decision that I made.
I was twelve years old, on a school bus, going home. I was staring out the window, and I asked God to use me in whichever way He wanted. And, God has been faithful to that request. And, all that I have to do to have Him ease up on ‘the price’ is take back that desire to serve.
That’s all it takes.
Just give up.
The problem is that there are people out there who are on their way to eternal punishment. People are in harm’s way, and I know the way out. I can’t ‘stand down’ while lives are on the line. I just can’t.
And, the price that the Lord paid for me…
…His suffering and death for my sins…
How could I be so wicked as to not go out and seek to rescue the lost?
Furthermore, Christians suffered for two thousand years to bring salvation to my door, and it is the least that I can do to pass that message of redemption on to others.
Does that make me a wonderful person?
It does not. In fact, I am fortunate that God hasn’t struck me down for being what He hates the most – arrogant and proud. A proud heart is an abomination to God (Prov 16:5), and I have truly been an abomination far, far too many times.
(I’m actually quite serious when I joke that my wife is perfect, but a bad judge of character.)
I can personally attest that the price for ‘relocation’ could be everything that you hold dear. Everything. Your health, your wealth, your family, your career, your sense of identity, and even the idea that you are ‘right with God’ – you could lose all of that, and more. I’ve seen families crushed and marriages torn apart. But, I’ve also seen that God never puts you through more than you can bear, and it’s always, ALWAYS for your own good.
My more than 18 years in Asia has been almost more than I could take, and the price was terrible. But, I would do it again. I would still grumble and moan about how awful it all was, but I really would do it again.
I am inviting you to do the same.
Are you ready to love God more than any other thing or person on this Earth?
Are you ready to put your future in His hands and trust Him that the price will never be too high?
And, be careful. That resolve WILL be tested.
The Price Is Everything
Most of us know this passage from Luke 14:
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? – Luke 14:27-28
We like to put a positive spin on that passage when we apply it to ourselves, but maybe you should pay more attention to the one that is just a few verses down:
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:33
Jesus demands everything.
Are you ready to pay?
Are you ready for this?
(That’s a link. Do more than just think about it.)
If you find a flaw in my reasoning, have a question, or wish to add your own viewpoint, leave a comment on the website. Your input is truly welcome.
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