Counting the cost

It seems prudent to limit one’s thoughts and ideas to what is humanly possible, what our resources and networks can produce. But that kind of prudence cannot solve the problems we face individually or collectively. If we could solve our problems by ourselves, we would have.

With all our busyness, our technology, our “connectedness” through social media, the purely economic or social enterprises we create and the myriads of NGOs, our individual and collective challenges are getting worse. Why? We were designed to live as copies of God and are ill-fitted to be mere humans disconnected from God. Jesus said something I can never get over – “I can do nothing by myself without the Father.” By instructing his disciples not to move an inch until they were filled with the Holy Spirit, He was implying that without God working through us, we can do nothing of true value, we can build nothing to last and we cannot follow in His footsteps.

It is mediocre in the truest sense to limit our thoughts to what we can do and we cannot help but be mediocre if God is not in the mix. There is no way out of our predicament than thought upgrade. We need to think above the human level and the only One whose thoughts are above ours is the One in whose image we were created, without whom we can do nothing. The change of heart Jesus offers is prerequisite to thinking at God’s level but it is only the beginning not the end.

When you have to “count the cost,” it is unwise to limit yourself to human capability. True cost for anything of true value in human society is the one thing that is becoming scarcer, especially in religious circles, the one thing available to every human being regardless of social or economic class. Jesus wondered if He would find faith on earth when He returns.

True cost is not money, connections or human capability, but faith. Faith frees us from thinking within the confines of human possibility to thinking thoughts that only God can and will execute. With faith, God’s capability is your resource.

10 thoughts on “Counting the cost

  1. Recently in a comment on someone’s blog, I was trying to explain why sometimes I hesitate to obey – I like “counting the cost” – when obedience or faith is required of me, i pause and think about all the requirements, faith, sacrifice, e.t.c that will be asked of me in that particular journey. I know the bible actually talks of counting the cost before starting to build something.

    My blogger friend replied with a simple “maybe you should count the cost of not obeying”

    It’s true that when we operate within the confines of human abilities and resources – we won’t even scratch the surface of what God has for us.

    Thanks for this reminder

    • Thanks for that thought Ngina. In other words, we were not designed for what is humanly possible so if we limit ourselves to what is humanly possible, we are guaranteed to miss our purpose and calling.

      True cost transcends human possibility but is more accessible to every human being than material resources or other measures of worldly wealth.

      I think this speaks to the good news that Jesus brought to the poor.

      By sending his disciples on a mission and asking them not to take their wallets and credit cards, he was showing that lack of material or human resources cannot stop anyone whose strength is God. They returned lacking nothing.

      When counting the cost, we should “count” our faith not our money or networks. The good news is we can grow our faith. Jesus who said we should count the cost, looked out for faith much more than anything else.

  2. The message Christ preached included the cross as well as the crown. He never hid His scars to win disciples. He revealed the worst along with the best….then told His listeners to count the cost. It seem’s that many today popularize the message and promise “fun”. Jesus isn’t our “buddy”……He is our Lord!

    What does faith look like? What is the cost? We would live radically different than we currently are living. We give up the lie of the “American Dream” and stop pursuing the sin of personal peace and affluence. Our time and resources would be given to expanding Gods kingdom on earth. We would take care of the orphan and the widow and make disciples of all people’s.

    We would pursue making Christ most glorified by enjoying Him above all things. Christ as our greatest treasure and desire is our goal. We would cut everything out of our lives that conflicts with this goal.

    We proclaim salvation by faith alone and grace alone against every false gospel. No exceptions.

    Be willing to die for Christ. When the time comes, we give our lives for Christ and His gospel. No exceptions.

    Leave everything to follow Christ: family, house, comfort, money, career, country etc……Christ is everything…..or He is nothing. It will cost you your life.

    • You know I was meditating in the past few days about how Jesus called His disciples. He asked them to leave everything and follow Him. Levi was a tax collector and a wealthy one too but Jesus asked him to leave it and follow Him. Same with the other disciples. It will cost us everything we think is dear to us.

      But thank God we exchange what we think is dear for God’s true treasure. If we had an idea of what He is calling us to, we will leave everything because nothing compares to the surpassing worth, the overwhelming preciousness of knowing Christ. As Paul said, everything else is dung compared to it. The more we explore the depths of the riches of Christ, the more we count everything else as it really is – dung.

      Thank God by faith we can connect with God’s wisdom and understanding that enables us to not count even our lives dear to us in the pursuit of Christ. Thanks for your usual rich comments.

  3. Came here via Light Her Lamp and I’m truly blessed by this first read.. especially since I’ve come to hate mediocrity. Amen to thinking thoughts that only God can and will execute. Like someone wisely said to me, “He can do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can ask or imagine – so why think small?” God bless.

  4. Good Post. The message of what true faith needs to be heralded, because right now the understanding of faith most people has is a limited one, its just what we believe instead of the faith as you stated and the faith that is marked out in Heb 11. Hebrews 11, shows a faith that was God given, God backed and produced God’s results. It changed the lives of the people who believed it and executed on it, indeed it changed the world.

    “Faith frees us from thinking within the confines of human possibility to
    thinking thoughts that only God can and will execute. With faith, God’s
    capability is your resource.”

    • Thank you Thomas. I will add something new to my knowledge. True faith changes the world. True faith does not leave us the same. I love this – faith that is “God given, God backed and produced God’s results.” True faith changes the world and according to Heb11, it is way beyond getting our own needs met. Thank you for enriching me.

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