Your life is the sum total of the choices you have made towards God. Once God makes Himself known to you, what you do next is up to you. Your reaction reflects what you believe about Him.
The rich, young ruler lived a moral life. He was well versed in the Scriptures and the Law of God. But his response to Jesus’ invitation revealed that, although he possessed a head knowledge of the teachings of God, he did not know God in a personal, experiential way that could be demonstrated by a response of faith (Matt. 19:16-22).
Whenever God speaks to you, it requires an adjustment on your part. Every time you pray you must be aware that if God answers and reveals His will to you, it will immediately require that you reorient your life. Each time you read the Bible, you must be prepared to obey what God tells you. God reveals truth to us – not to make us intellectual – but to see if we will respond in faith and obedience, making us true servants.
Why did God use Peter, James, and John to turn the 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 (even though he knew a lot about God), and the scriptures say “he went away sorrowful.”
You are faced with the same choice every time God brings truth to you. What you do next is up to you.