But when the young man heard that saying he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Your life is the sum of the responses you have made toward God. Once God makes Himself known to you, what you do next is your decision. Your reaction reflects what you believe about Him. The rich, young ruler lived a moral life. He was well versed in Scripture and the laws of God.
But his response to Jesus’ invitation clearly showed that, although he possessed a head knowledge of the teachings of God, he did not know God in an experiential way that could be demonstrated by a response of faith (Matt. 19:16–22). Whenever the Lord speaks to you, it will require an adjustment in your life. This truth can dramatically affect your prayer life. Every time you pray you must be aware that if God answers your prayer and reveals His will to you, it will immediately require you to reorient your life. Each time you read your Bible, you must be prepared to obey what God tells you. Why did God use Peter and James and John so significantly to turn their world upside down? And why were others, like the rich, young ruler, never heard from again? Choices! The disciples chose to believe, and their belief was proven by their obedience. The rich, young ruler could not bring himself to obey, and Scripture tells us that he “went away sorrowful.” You are faced with the same question as the rich, young ruler. What adjustments are you willing to make in order to respond positively to Christ?