My last two blogs have been about Satan and how he tempts us to disobey God. And when we think of disobedience it is generally around the area of sin. We are tempted to do something wrong, then at the point decision, we choose to either do it, or not do it.
However, there is another area of sin we don’t often consider, of far more importance to the Kingdom of God. Counting the cost of truly following Jesus, and finding the price simply too high. In this passage of Scripture, Jesus instructs those who claim they want to follow him, to consider carefully the cost.
“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?’” Luke 14: 25-34
I can’t tell you how many Christian men have come to me over the 40 years I’ve been mentoring and said they want to discuss leaving their profession, cutting back on their hours, or giving up some treasured hobby and do something more significant for God. Would I help them?
After a few meetings, I’m guessing that roughly 98% leave and never return.
Why they don’t’ return isn’t always clear. Some want to or say they need to “work a few more years be comfortable financially.” Fair enough. Some have wives who aren’t ready to embrace a life of unpaid, or underpaid ministry. Others leave scared of embarking on a new career at 50, or 60 and failing. Perhaps they just don’t want surrender their discretionary time. I don’t always know, but no matter the cause- They’ve sued for peace.
In verse 32 above, Jesus is saying that if a king is fearful of failure or defeat, he will ask for terms of peace with his adversary. Is our adversary the Evil One? It could be, but I’m not sure it matters much.
I’ve even run into many of these men years later and they often tell me they’ve gotten busy serving on a couple of boards and doing some more volunteer work. Good things to do, but way less than what they could have done with their talents more fully devoted to God.
So, here’s some questions for you: Have you sued for peace in some area of your life? Did you believe God was calling you to some ministry endeavor even part-time and you got cold feet, and sued for peace and did some lesser thing? Is there someone you’ve been impressed to introduce to Jesus, but you were afraid it might damage your relationship, so you haven’t? Have you been asked to serve in a significant leadership position in your church, but you just didn’t have the time just then?
If so, please consider the true cost of surrender, to the Kingdom, and your soul.
How following Jesus works in real life.
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