“According to the number of days which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall bear your guilt a year, even forty years, and you will know My opposition.” Numbers 14:34
Today’s passage is incredibly sobering. We’ve already seen how Israel’s grumbling quickly turned to distrust of God, which led to rebellion. Consequently, that generation lived out their days wandering in a circle. Instead of living in the excellence of the promised land, they simply existed. You see, the cost of obeying God and trusting His Word can seem too high until we consider the price of compromise.
Disobeying instructions from God’s Word won’t keep a follower of Jesus out of Heaven. It will, however, compromise your walk with the Lord. Numerous believers, and even churches, can look back on moments when they miscalculated the price of not fully trusting God. Anytime we compromise, we choose to simply exist instead of live in the excellence of God’s promises.
If you’ve stepped onto the path of spiritual mediocrity…there’s hope. We serve a faithful God. Even though He may allow you to suffer the consequences of your disobedience, He also renews His mercy and compassion continually. “The Lord’s acts of mercy indeed do not end, for His compassions do not fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Each day is a fresh chance to follow Him more closely than the day before.
And according to Colossians, we can choose to put aside the thoughts and actions that lead to disobedience and defeat. “…since you stripped off the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self, which is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created it” (Colossians 3:9-10). Putting on this new self each day renews us in the image of Christ.
What words currently describe your life as a believer? Victory and excellence, or defeat and mediocrity? It’s true that living without compromise has a cost. But choosing that path is less costly than the price of disobedience. Plus, it makes us more like Jesus.
So where do you start? First, realize the value God places on obedience to His Word. Next, focus on His faithfulness, both today and in the past. Then die to your personal agenda, and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. There’s so much more to the Christian life than just existing until Jesus returns. Don’t allow yesterday’s bad choices to determine what you do today. Stop and consider the price of compromise.