“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1Cor 9:16).
“I must” is to brave the storms of life in spite of the difficulties required of me to survive. I can only give light consideration to the cost attached to obedience. Obedience is often costly because there are so many options that could lead to paths of least resistance. Yet the call of God to obey rings strong within my heart and ears in spite of my mind fighting against it and telling me that there are other ways go and other things to be done. Some of them appear to be equally important, and at times, seem to outweigh the measure of this assignment because of greater gain and requiring less effort. But God speaks “woe” to the very thought of my disobedience to His command. Necessity is laid on me to speak the truth when the lie or even silence would be of greater benefit. “I must” do what God has called me to do. I must speak what He has given me to speak. Yet I cannot boast of it because to preach the gospel is not of me, but of Christ. He must speak through me if the words spoken are to have any power. I must speak but I must yield my whole life to Him. This is how I grow in both grace and knowledge by letting Christ be Himself in me. Then the power of God is able to draw sinners to the Cross of Jesus Christ and those who have been drawn are able to grow. They are not just hearing the message but become the message because then they are able to see the message in me. I am not driven by obligation but rather compelled by love. Since I have been drawn, it would be denial of Christ and all of His grace dispensed towards me to do otherwise.