Luke 14: 25-35
25 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them,26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.
28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
IF I want to be a disciple of Jesus…THEN I must essentially hate everyone (including myself).
That doesn’t sound like the bible at all, does it? How many sermon series are centered around this passage of scripture? How often is it shared and liked on social media? Regardless, it is written, in redlettering. There is a cost that is required to follow Him. There is a cost and a cross.
It’s our choice, however.
I’m currently in a “then” season.
I answered another “if” question 7 years ago. The Lord spoke to me in the secret place: “I’m removing your tent pegs….and sending you to a new land (Florida).” (read about it here: https://deepintothewater.com/2020/11/18/uprooting/) I must admit, I didn’t respond with great faith in the beginning, as Mary did when the angel told her she would conceive the Savior of the world by the power of the Spirit. Instead, I asked a slew of questions,
“What about my husband?
What about our kids?
What about our family?
What about our house?”
Still, the Lord was gracious. He gave me the gift of time and testing to build my faith. He gave me the gift of time and testing to count the cost. He gave me the gift of time and testing to face my fear of man. He gave me the gift of time and testing to confront the lies of the enemy. He gave me the gift of time and testing to receive the Father’s perfect love. He gave me the gift of time and testing to obey the Lord. He gave me the gift of time and testing to follow His Spirit.
IF I wanted to be a disciple…THEN I had to count the cost of my relationships:
- My husband initially rejected God’s call to go (which felt like personal rejection).
- Our children initially rejected God’s call to go (ditto to the above).
- Our family & friends initially rejected God’s call to go (ditto, again).
IF I wanted to be a disciple…THEN I had to pick up my cross:
- We closed the ministry we planted and pioneered for more than a decade.
IF I want to be a disciple…THEN I have to follow Him to Florida:
- I have to leave my friends and family.
- I have to leave the house we’ve poured blood, sweat and tears in to remodel.
- I have to leave some of our possessions.
The cost, however, pales in comparison to the reward of knowing the One who has called me by name. To the One who ran out to meet me when I came home to Him. To the One who healed and delivered me from sin. To the One who filled me with Himself.
There must be a call.
There must be a cost.
There must be a cross.
IF we leave everything….AND follow Him, we will see His plan, His promise, and His provision fulfilled in our lives. I’m living proof of it, my friend! His Word has NOT returned void. He said He would take care of all these things to fulfill His promise, including answering my prayer to sell our house, supernaturally.
“Lord, would you pleeeeeease just send someone over to buy our house?”
Our next-door neighbor referred her sisters family.
They came over, walked through, sat and talked with us …and later made an offer.
The rest, as they say, is history.
He’s calling you, my friend. Can you hear Him? He wants an intimate, deep, abiding relationship with you. THAT is the ONE THING He is after: your heart. Do you know Him? Does He know you? IF you want to be His disciple…THEN you must consider the cost to leave your family, your nets, your boats and follow Him.
Trust me, HE is worth it!
18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.
21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.