In Luke 14: 16-33, Jesus is talking to a crowd of people about what it really means to follow Him. These were people who had seen the miracles. They had seen him so the impossible. They followed the rock star, but Jesus wanted them to follow the Savior. In order for them to do that, they needed to know what they were getting themselves into.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 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.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-33).
This series of verses is where we get the whole idea of “counting the cost.” Discipleship is no easy thing. “Renouncing all that he has” is more difficult than we often give it credit for.
While I haven’t been thinking of this necessarily in terms of discipleship lately, I understand that discipleship plays a role in it. A disciple is willing to follow his Master’s commands, even when they don’t make sense. A disciple is willing to go when the vision is not clear. A disciple is willing to do what might cause others to no longer want to associate with them. A disciple is only concerned with pleasing God. Everything else is secondary. The process of discipleship is hard and demanding, but I believe that it is necessary.
I’m learning, especially in this season, that I have to be open to what God is calling me to do. If I’m to truly be a disciple, I have to trust that Jesus knows the long game, and He knows what I have to do to get where He created me to be, which is close to Him.
So then, the question becomes,
“If counting the cost costs me the respect of those I hold dear, what do I do?”- Renounce all that I have.
“If counting the cost causes me to lose the relationships that have held me for years on end, what do I do?”- Renounce all that I have.
“If counting the cost means that I have to enter into a season of extreme discomfort, what do I do?” -Renounce all that I have.
“God, I’m willing to do what it takes, to go where it takes, and to give up what it takes, in order to become a true disciple of Yours.” Amen.