When you first received Christ you were plopped onto a pathway, your very own path meandering throughout your entire christianity on earth.
Now this avenue of yours is actually a toll walkway. You go so far, and then you must drop in a token. The guardrail won’t lift until you do. (And don’t try to climb over!…. you will be confronted by very stern guard-rail-ian angels.)
This pathway slopes upward, toward Lord Jesus. Yes, you have Him and He has you, but this road leads into loftier intimacy. Life is good but it’s meant to get gooder. You can go as high as you are willing to pay.
And no further.
Well I’ll just drop in a token whenever I come to a collector. Lord Jesus, here I come!
That’s what they all say. Fact is, most soon come to a requirement they refuse to pay. They will give up this and this, but not that.
Soon you are stopped by the first guardrail. The required token is water baptism, the first commandment of every young convert, an opportunity to publicly declare your union with Christ.
Now wait a minute! Can’t I do this privately? I mean, what will my friends think?
After several months of balking you eventually yield, and this allows further upward travel unto intimacy and fruitfulness. You enjoy this higher ground and are determined to keep on ascending.
Oh-oh. Another guardrail.
Some days you live to please Lord Jesus; other times you are focused on procuring the acceptance of friends. Repentance of divided loyalty is the token requirement for more of Him.
Hey! I never did say I want to be a radical!
In your christianity you might encounter dozens of such guardrails, one at a time, in your quest for more of Him. Or you just might tire of paying the token, and go no further.
How far did you get? How much further could you have travelled? You will find out at the judgment seat of Christ.