Count the cost

Luke 14:28-30 “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Following Christ will cost you something….

I know what some of the preachers say, the message that declares the welcoming nature of the gospel message has created a modern day invitation for prosperity and peace. While I do not deny that peace and joy occur upon salvation, it is the other aspects typical of coming to Christ that people often times neglect.

Leaving the idea of what we can gain from Christ and embracing the idea of what we can give, allows for a right understanding when approaching the throne of God.

Job 28:28 “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”

Unless we can see ourselves in light of God’s holiness, we will forever try to justify ourselves in spite of our deficiencies.

Psalm 8:1-2 “O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.”

Do you realize how simple we are before God?

God’s strength is made evident in the simplest form of humankind, babes and infants cannot understand anything, they’re basic needs for care and nourishment leave them relying solely on their mother and father. The majesty of God’s creative genius is displayed in these little innocent children, formed in His image they embody the reliance we must understand as adults.

Depending on our Father

We progress from infants in complete reliance to maturity and independence. There is a point in a young man and woman’s life when the age of accountability becomes apparent. The realization of our Heavenly Father’s call is aided by our earthly parents teaching.

The single most important mission of parents is to lead their children toward Christ. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to make their decision for or against the high calling of God. When that call is heard, hopefully the youth will recognize who it is from.

Psalm 8:3-4 “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?”

Why does God care enough to call us to Himself?

The ugliness of sin has been made more than evident in the human race. With all of our faults and failures it seems strange that God would care at all to have people dwell with Him….and yet He still calls.

What value do we have that He sees in us?

Isaiah 45:18 “For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the LORD, and there is no other.”

You were created for a purpose.

Sure, you have a specific path that God has laid out for you to trod but the purpose I’m referring to is more broad than that. You were made to dwell with God upon His Creation.

In essence you were made to be a steward of His Creation. When Adam was first formed he was given responsibility to care for the greater Creation, he was given intelligence that exceeded the rest of Creation so that He might rule over it.

Creation entails the Heavens and the Earth. I believe our future glory will be to once again help manage God’s Creation. We will not be left alone to accomplish this great responsibility but Jesus will dwell with us, instructing us and giving us an eternal purpose.

The great reward that awaits is given only to those who count the cost.

Isaiah 45:19 “I did not speak in secret,
in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
‘Seek me in vain.’
I the LORD speak the truth;
I declare what is right.”

In the midst of a world engulfed in the darkness of sin, the call of the Lord penetrates the shadow of shame that hangs over us.

The call has purpose, He means to deliver His people and so the necessity is made to respond.

Our Choice

We have a choice we must make—-hold onto all that we know and care about or embrace the promises of God. We can’t see what lies ahead, we only have a dim ability to perceive. We must either step out in trust and believe or hold onto what we know.

Isaiah 45:22-23 “Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn;
from my mouth has gone out in righteousness
a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear allegiance.’

Do you see a pattern here?

Everything begins with the {fear of the Lord}. This starting point is vital for wisdom and walking with the Lord…without it, you will wander recklessly without clear direction.
To honor the Lord as King is to recognize our weakness, recognize our lack of understanding, and in general: acknowledging we don’t know how to get where He wants us to go without Him.

What follows after the Lord gives you direction is the crisis of trust.
Do I trust Him for the journey and that His way is reliable or do I recoil in fear with doubt, eventually returning to the place I began?
Many think they want God’s direction but are not prepared to move. At the first sign of difficulty, they grow fearful or angry, thinking God has abandoned them. There is often times a false understanding of what God’s path entails.

We are told it is straight and narrow, not smooth and easy.
We are told that we may have to cross mountains or tread through valleys of the shadow of despair, yet He promises to never leave us or forsake us.
Along the way we find peace, knowledge, understanding and our faith grows. We become stronger for the next journey, and the next, until the difficult road is embraced.
We learn along this course of life what difficulty brings, our trust exceeds the peril and our confidence in God’s promises amplifies to an insurmountable faith.
We see the mountains move before us, the valleys rise up, the enemy flee and we worship the King, for His faithfulness to us, His strength that He supplies and His ongoing grace shown us for our past weakness.

Isaiah 45:24-25 “Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me,
are righteousness and strength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
all who were incensed against him.
In the LORD all the offspring of Israel
shall be justified and shall glory.”

Do you want to go with Him?

All those who oppose God’s call will one day find themselves ashamed. There is no future apart from Christ and so the choice seems obvious…

Count the cost….then start the journey. You’ll never go back and you’ll wonder why you ever doubted Him in the first place.

4 thoughts on “Count the cost

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