Imagine that you had been out of work for months. The bills were piling up, stress was mounting, and desperation setting in. Then, out of the blue, you get a call. A Fortune 500 company offers you a job! Not just any job. A great job with a fat salary, benefits, and good retirement. When you show up for work your first day, the boss is there to greet you with a big smile and a handshake. You joyfully express your gratitude at this opportunity and then say, "I was looking at the job description and I wanted to discuss with you the things I will do and the things I won't be doing. On some of it, you can be in charge, but for certain areas, I'll be doing it my way."
How long would you keep that job?
As ridiculous as that scenario sounds, many people approach God's offer of salvation the same way. They recognize their desperate situation and spiritual poverty. They gratefully accept God's free gift of forgiveness and new life through Jesus. Then they proceed to tell God in which areas of life they are willing to obey Him. "Sure, Lord, I'll go to church and try to be better. But as far as_________, I'm still gonna make my own decisions. Yeah, I know it's sin, but...."
Why do we think that attitude works any better with God than it does with a human superior? In fact, it's worse. In the business world, at least we bring something to the table. We were hired because we had a skill needed by the employer. But with God, we bring nothing. We have nothing that He needs. We come to Him empty-handed, invited only by His pure grace. It is the utmost arrogance to think for a moment that we have the right to negotiate anything. Only a fool would try it.