We hear so often as Christians that we must count the cost. But what does that mean? How can we see what counting the cost looks like in our lives?
Franklin Graham once responded to this question by interpreting the scripture that Jesus spoke to his disciples:
“If you are going to follow me, if you are going to be my disciple you have got to understand the cost. You have to put me first.”
In order to count the cost we have to understand what this means. Many times God will use our experiences to show us what counting the cost means and He will show us what it looks like. We buy things like vehicles, which are a necessity to get to where you need to be. Imagine, for a moment, that vehicle breaking down because it is no longer strong enough to get you to where you need to be. Now imagine going into a car dealership to get a brand new vehicle. All this new car talk is exciting with all the new features you will have that can make life easier. Who wouldn’t want heated seats to make seasons like winter more comfortable?! Then the salesman shows you the price. This price is more than you can reasonably afford. You may think ‘God how can I possibly afford this’? I am sure Jesus asked God the same question. Jesus was buying and paving The Way and sacrificing his life and for everyone else who would accept such a gift.
Jesus’ love for us is like this new vehicle sale. He, in faith, gave more than he could physically afford in order to give true everlasting life. As we are to be a reflection of Him we cannot be surprised when God asks us to give up everything we may think are great comforts. He may ask you to give up your marriage, a job, friends or even your family in order to glorify His Heavenly Kingdom. (I am not advocating you leaving your spouse, job, or family just to clarify. At times God will take things or people out of your life because it does not line up with His will.)
As you take up your cross and see the great cost you may find that life pushes you out of your comfort zone and that is okay. In fact if it does not scare you, something is wrong. Counting the cost may even look irrational to society’s view of what is good. You may look so irrational that you are rejected by the ones closest to you. Scripture reminds us of this and even our Savior was subject to this treatment. So if you find yourself speaking truth in the face of adversity, take heart because Jesus also faced this.
We don’t have to allow fear to reign our hearts about giving up these things because God provides us with a stipulation. If you honor His request and put Him first He promises to provide everything you need as He calls you into this new position.
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
In this chapter he tells us not to worry because he provides for even the smallest of animals and even the precious lilies of the field. They are not just surviving, they are thriving. Additionally, the term “fear not” is mentioned approximately 110 times in the Bible (depending on what version you use it may vary).
Everyday we are surrounded and tempted with things that the world tries to tell us is good for us. As Christians we must not believe this lie. If we do we are putting a band aide on an out of control dam. Sure, that band aide may last for a little bit but sooner or later it comes off and your dam turns into the Niagara Falls.
If God has called you to a greater purpose than what you were living that is huge. Congratulations on seeing this in your life! I just want to encourage you today if God is calling you to count the cost remember another great promise He gives us in Isaiah 41:10:
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
How are you counting the cost? I would love to hear your comments.