And one decision.
That’s all it took to change my life forever. To turn the lives of my family members upside down, transform the future of my business, even impact the laws of my county.
Because of those few seconds—and that one decision—I’ve gone from being a quiet cake artist with a strip mall cake shop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood to an unlikely public figure, interviewed by national journalists, grilled by the women of “The View,” and judged and psychoanalyzed by countless men and women around kitchen tables and watercoolers all over America. I’ve had my life threatened, my name defamed, and my deepest beliefs judged by the Supreme Court of the United States.
None of us, after all, know what’s coming around the corner, in these days of escalating social conflict and violence. (There’s an old saying, that “It’s hard to predict things—especially the future.”) I used to think, What can happen? I’ve got my family, my friends, a good job, food on the table, a nice place to live.
But that was before those 20 seconds.
And that one decision.
In the Bible, Jesus warned His disciples that they are headed into dangerous, uncharted territory. “I will send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves,” He said (Matthew 10:16). And after the last few years, I feel I know what He meant.
But thankfully, He adds this assurance.
“You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them … but when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matthew 10:16) [emphasis mine].
I can testify, now, to the truth of that promise. Because of one decision, I have stood “before governors and kings.” And time after time, He has given me the words to say.
This is not the whole story, of course, any more than the gospels tell us the whole story of all that Jesus said and did in His time on the earth (John 21:25).
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples,” the Bible says, “but these were written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing, you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31 NIV).
That’s the main reason I’m sharing this excerpt: to share some of what God has done in my life, so that you may trust Him for what He wants to do in yours. You have your own talents, your own circumstances, your own opportunities to make decisions. I believe God wants to bless you, lead you, and help you with all of those things, as surely as He has for me.
The Bible tells us how some of the Apostle Paul’s decisions led him to stand before kings—actual kings—with whom he shared his life story. One king, Agrippa, after hearing Paul’s testimony, said, “You almost persuade me to be a Christian.” To which Paul replied:
“I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and although such as I am, except for these chains” (Acts 26:28-29).
That’s how I feel, having gone through this experience. I wish everyone could know God’s love as clearly as I do—but without having to be condemned by your state government officials or to spend most of a decade defending your beliefs.
If you are already a follower of Christ—and even if you aren’t—there’s a good chance He’s leading you to some unknown places, too. To some unpredictable situations. To choices whose impact you can hardly imagine.
This is an excerpt adapted from The Cost of My Faith: How a Decision in My Cake Shop Took Me to the Supreme Court by Jack Phillips with permission. To learn more about Jack’s story, click here.