COUNTING THE COST
Jesus stressed the importance of counting the cost before you make spiritual decisions. He used two natural examples, a man building a tower and a king going to war, both of whom did not have the resources to finish what they began (Luke 14:28-32). (Luke 9:57-62)
Being part of God’s end-time harvest will be tremendously exciting, but it will also be tremendously costly. Read Luke 9:57-62 in your Bible. In this passage three men approached Jesus wanting to be disciples. To each of these potential disciples, Jesus reveals a different aspect of the costs of dedication to God’s purposes:
- Considered costs: (Luke 9:57-58) The first man attempts to become a disciple through self-effort. He does not wait to be called by Jesus. If you try to respond by self-effort, you will fail. You must be called and anointed of God. Jesus said to this man, “If you follow me, this is what you will face”. The costs include sacrifice as well as service (1 John 3:16). It may include loneliness (2 Timothy 1:15); rejection and criticism (John 1:11); and persecution (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). Have you considered the cost of being used by God in the end-time anointing? COUNTING THE COST
- Proper priorities: (Luke 9:59-60). The second man was called by Jesus to follow Him. He did not outline a career path. He did not give him details of a long range plan. He simply called him to leave the old life behind because of the call alone. What decisions, partings, and sacrifices this might require remain unknown. The men and women God is raising up for this end-time harvest are those who are willing to leave a life of security for one of insecurity in the eyes of the world. The commitment is not to a program, but to a person and that person is the Lord Jesus Christ.
The response of this man to the call to follow was “suffer me first…” He wanted to follow Jesus, but it was not his priority. Jesus would never suggest that a person ignore the needs of his parents (see John 19:25-27). It is a matter of priorities which is stressed in this story. This man said he wanted to “bury his father” first. At the critical moment when Jesus calls a man to follow Him, nothing must be placed before that call. Let me ask you: What are your priorities? What are you putting before the call God has placed on your life? COUNTING THE COST
- Absolute aims (Luke 9:61-62): The third man wanted to follow Jesus, but he wanted to do so on his own terms. This man’s aims in life were not settled. He was holding back, torn between the old life and the new. His absolute aim in life was not the call of God. Your commitment to fulfill your end time destiny must be complete. It must become the absolute aim of your life.
Make this declaration:
The fulfillment of my God-given destiny is the absolute aim of my life.