No Matter the Cost

Proverbs 4:7 tells us, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” And in verse 9:10, we read that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” When we read the word “LORD” in all caps like that in our English Bibles, the word actually being used in the original Hebrew was the tetragrammaton, also rendered as “YHWH” or “Yahweh.” In order to start down the path of Biblical wisdom, therefore, one must first acknowledge and submit oneself to the God of the Bible, the creator of all things–no matter what that decision might cost us.

IMG_4997With that understanding, let me commend to you one of the wisest people I know.  Abdu Murray was a devout Muslim so dedicated to his faith that his passion was to evangelize Christians.  That is, until his studies of the Bible convinced him that it, and not the Qu’ran, was God’s revelation to humanity. Despite this intellectual conclusion, Abdu found himself unable to publicly acknowledge his new convictions. After much soul-searching, he realized this hesitation was because he knew the emotional impact his conversion would have on his proud Muslim family. In their eyes, watching their son turn his back on Islam would be worse than watching him die.

Nevertheless, Abdu found the courage of his convictions, and announced his decision to follow Christ.  The result was exactly what he expected–a grueling, emotional, 14-hour encounter in which his family tried desperately to persuade him to reconsider.  Even now, more than 15 years later, those wounds are still raw for all involved.

But God has richly blessed Abdu for his dedication. After several years as a successful lawyer, Abdu is now a full-time Christian evangelist who has worked side-by-side with such luminaries as Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Reasons to Believe, and more.  Abdu founded Embrace the Truth International, an apologetics ministry with the motto “Embrace the truth, no matter the cost.”  More than anyone I know, Abdu has earned the right to be heard on the subject of sacrificing everything for the sake of truth. His ministry has reached tens of thousands of people around the world, and as a direct result, many of those have come to know the same joy Abdu has of a life fully abandoned to Christ.

I encourage you to allow yourself to be challenged by Abdu’s example.  So many of us who were born into faith forget what it has been like throughout human history for those who gave up everything to seek God.  And many of those who spurn faith, if they examined their hearts honestly, would admit that what holds them back is much more an emotional resistance than anything else.  In the end, however, the wisest thing we can do is to pursue the God who created us and the plan He has for our lives–no matter the cost.