Have you purchased a car recently? This past spring our family decided to purchase a truck for our son. I walked onto the car lot and told the salesman from the very beginning what I was willing and able to spend and I held my ground. He tried to get me to negotiate and give and take only to learn I had been honest and stated what I would spend in the very beginning. Eventually, I was able to get the truck, but it took a while.
Moses had a similar encounter with Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. In Exodus 5:1 Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh and tell him “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let My people go, so that they may hold a festival to Me in the desert.’” Pharaoh immediately says “No.” Then the plagues begin. Moses keeps coming back to Pharaoh, asking the same thing. Each time, Pharaoh tries to negotiate. He tells Moses to go sacrifice in the desert, but don’t go far [Ephesians 8:28]. Next he tells them they can go but to leave their flocks and herds [Exodus 10:24-26]. Moses will not settle or compromise, because God will not.
God called the Israelites and Pharaoh to do exactly what He commanded, not their own version of it. He calls us to do the same. He is not willing to compromise. There is no negotiating with God. It is His way or it is His way. Just as the Egyptians and Pharaoh learned, there are consequences for doing things in a way other than God’s way.
Are you all in with God? Whatever He says? Would you be willing to sacrifice the comforts of home and time with family over the holidays to go to Vietnam and minister to the lost if He called you to do it? Would you be willing to streamline some of your weekly commitments so you can devote more time to Him and His Word? Would you be willing to spend less on your family at Christmas this year so you have more to spend on those in great need?
2 Chronicles 16:9a says “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” He doesn’t settle for halfway. He is looking for the real deal. Are you?