Christian Living
By Kenneth E. Hagin

Once my wife and I were traveling through Missouri, and we saw a large billboard on the turnpike that read, "It doesn't cost, it pays." The message on that billboard was referring to advertising, but I said to my wife, "You could apply that spiritually too. It doesn't cost to surrender to God; it pays."

Some Christians, bless their darling hearts, are always talking about what they had to give up and what it cost them to be a Christian. I'd just as soon hear a donkey bray at midnight in a tin barn as hear folks talk like that! It doesn't cost to obey God and dedicate your life to Him. It pays! It will cost you not to obey God. It may cost you in dollars and cents. It may cost you sickness, disease, and premature death. It may cost you heartache and sorrow. But, oh, thank God, it's so good over in the perfect will of God, where you're fully surrendered, fully dedicated, fully submitted to His will! It's just so much better to obey God than to disobey Him.

A person can disobey something specific that God told him to do. That's disobedience. But a person can disobey the Bible, God's revealed will, and that's disobedience too. And it will cost him. For example, I remember when God first began to deal with me about the sin of worry. I was on my deathbed, paralyzed because of a deformed heart and an incurable blood disease. I had to deal with the sin of worry before I could receive healing for my body in faith, because worry and anxiety hinder a person's faith.

After I was born again, I began to read the Scriptures, and I got bogged down in Matthew chapter 6:

MATTHEW 6:25, 27–28, 31
25 Therefore I say unto you, TAKE NO THOUGHT for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? . . .
27 Which of you by TAKING THOUGHT can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why TAKE YE THOUGHT for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. . . .
31 Therefore TAKE NO THOUGHT, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

A footnote on verse 25 in the Bible I was reading said, "Do not be anxious about tomorrow." In other words, Jesus Himself was saying, "Do not worry!"

When I realized that, I said in astonishment, "Why, Lord, if I have to live like that, I'll never make it as a Christian." I thought I couldn't live without worry or being anxious, so I shut my Bible. Up until then, everything in God's Word had been all clear and light and a blessing to me.

Finally, I said to the Lord, "Forgive me for worrying and for being full of anxiety. I know You will forgive me, because First John 1:9 says if I confess my sin to You, You are faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I promise You, Lord, that I'll never worry again the longest day I live." God as my witness, many years have come and gone, and although I've been sorely tempted, I have not worried.

In surrendering to the Lord and letting Him have His way in our lives, sometimes it seems costly right at the moment, because there is often a price to pay on our part. But, thank God, in the long run it pays well and good to obey God.

The Lord's way is always best! The Lord's way is one of blessing, protection, and victory, even in the midst of life's greatest tests and trials. It doesn't cost to obey God and His Word; it pays!

Faith In Action

Learn to Forget
When you've confessed your sin to God and received His forgiveness, the devil will invariably bring up your past as a photograph. The Bible says, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake" (Isa. 43:25). God forgets your sins for His sake, so He can bless you, help you, and demonstrate His great love and mercy on your behalf. We must learn to forget, too, or we won't be able to successfully follow God's plan for our lives.