Count the costs because there is a cost for doing something and a cost for doing nothing.
When Jesus declared to “pick up your cross and follow Me”, there is an obvious warning that Christian followers would have to make a choice to crucify themselves and put to death human frailties soaked in sin. This would include habits that they enjoy doing that ultimately would interfere with their walk with God. It is difficult to choose: my way or God's way?http://www.relevantmagazine.com/tags/when-gods-will-hard
“You cannot serve two masters” is a practical and spiritual application that Christ declared that you would love the one and despise the other eventually. Such is the case typically when people make decisions to fully commit to God, or to finally turn away to pursue their self-indulgent needs. There is always a moment of truth when the top priority will shine through.http://biblehub.com/matthew/6-24.htm
Martin Luther King Jr. declared at the funeral of four slain black girls that life could be “as hard as crucible steel”. The cost may appear more than one can bear when tallying the cost of persecution and following the Christian walk. The unfairness associated with walking with God could easily cause those to doubt, particularly when deciding whether to compromise God’s moral code.
Ultimately it comes down to the very struggle Jesus had in the Garden of Gethsemane when weighing to do it His way or God’s way. Our own way seems the way of least resistance, and thus many a poor decisions are done with the mistaken belief that it is the easier way. The cost of doing it God’s way appears to be too expensive. Unfortunately the cost for doing it our way always becomes a worse burden.
We rejoice at the choice Christ made to “drink that cup of poison”. Jesus decided to go through the worst indignity imaginable, submit to the injustice of far lesser righteous men, carry the cross representing the sins of the world, and suffer the torturous pain of false accusations and physical agony. Who in their right mind would choose such a dreary path?
The logic of such a seeming travesty escapes those either unwilling or embarrassed to accept that somebody that did not know them would subject themselves to such a cruel fate willingly. It is far easier to reject such a notion and go on your merry way as though all is well.
A love story? This brutal tale would put to shame any story concocted that deals with human misery. Pick up your cross and follow Him? Are you kidding me?
Jesus declared to His disciples that “He would put everything in order upon His return”. A fallen Creation just is not going to make much sense to Christian believers. Worse yet, things make even less sense to those trying to navigate through this busted world without Christ. One could easily be damned if you do or damned if you don’t. Christ lived an exemplified perfect life and He was still hated and falsely accused.
One’s struggles cannot be as horrific in terms of the pain suffered by Jesus, yet Christ also toiled mightily in that Garden of Gethsemane where drops of blood were perspired from His pores. The terrible choice of not doing it God’s way was on the table, but fortunately Jesus submitted, “Not My will, but Thine be done. The sacrifice of all sacrifices had been made.
Struggling to follow God’s will is as natural as wet being with the water. There is always a substantial cost to walking in God’s anointing. Bible paragons of faith in Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Job, David and the three Hebrew children are examples of the cost it takes to follow God….not too pleasant of options at the time.
But the benefits far exceeds the investment.