A reason that a minister goes over these verses with a person seeking baptism is to affirm this very point. He must count the cost: to forsake all he has to bear his cross.

Baptism is a public declaration that we accept the blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and have decided to be absolutely loyal to Him. Everything else is to be secondary; we have renounced our will, and everything we have is subordinate to His will. Will we be loyal in every situation as Jesus was, or will we be loyal only in the good times? If He chooses to send or allow poverty or sickness or even death, will we say with Abraham, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25). Doing this will not be without struggle. We are, after all, human, and even Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane struggled with this before saying, "Your will be done."

Besides Jesus, a number of men met this crisis and, as far as we can see, passed it with flying colors. Notice Eli's reply to God's sentence against him and his sons in I Samuel 3:18: "It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him." Like most of us, Eli was a mixture of strengths and weaknesses. His latter lay in failing to restrain the excesses of his sons. When God pronounces His sentence, though Eli was likely in anguish, he does not justify himself or murmur of unfairness. He accepts it without reservation.

Eli certainly felt terribly for his sons, even though they were undoubtedly a great disappointment to him. Cut off by God's judgment, they were utterly unprepared for death. There seems no possibility they died in what we would call "in the Lord." It must have been a difficult burden for Eli to accept this shocking news.

Leviticus 10:1-7 reveals another example of a godly man humbly accepting God's shocking sentence. God strikes two of Aaron's sons to death, and at Moses' counsel, Aaron holds his peace. He counsels Aaron and his remaining sons to accept God's judgment before the people lest they bring reproach upon God—as though He were guilty of wrongdoing.

God praises Job highly, saying that no one on earth was like him, "a blameless and upright man" (Job 1:8). Surely, he has every right to expect God to bless him continually throughout his life. God indeed prospers him until he is the richest man in his area. Suddenly, however, devastating disasters obscure his bright future. In one day, Sabeans and Chaldeans raid his ranches and take everything, lightning destroys his crops, and a tornado kills his ten children! What is Job's response? "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (verse 21).

Job looks beyond these devastating events—truly mind-numbing realities—that could never have occurred without God's permission. Beyond them he sees the Creator, whose rule extends over all peoples and things—some of which He had allowed to devastate Job's life. Job clearly recognizes God's sovereignty, even managing to rejoice somewhat in it. No wonder God says no one on earth was like him!

Once we give ourselves over to Him in baptism, recognizing God's sovereignty causes us to subject our plans to His will. It makes us recognize that, as the Potter, He has absolute power over the clay, molding it according to His pleasure (James 4:13-15).

Overall, it is for Him to say where we live and in what condition: whether in poverty or wealth, sickness or health, cut down in the flower of youth or living three score and ten. To learn this lesson is to attain very high marks in God's school. Accepting His will in all things and in the right attitude is among the most difficult of all lessons in life. It is one that, when we think we have a handle on it, something comes up, and we discover we have to learn all over again!

On the other hand, unwillingness to accept God's will in all things produces in us a resistance to obey accompanied by complaining. If this resistance to accepting what God has dealt to us were not there, we would have no reason to complain. Murmuring and disobedience go together, and murmuring is sin.