Proverbs 20:24-25 (NLT) The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.
We made it! The last child has reached the age of vehicular operation. She has been driving for a year now on her permit and is ready to become legally armed with a driver’s license. My husband and I have been looking into modes of transportation for quite some time. I also have been in the market for a new car recently. Imagine my sheer and utter elation to find two cars meeting our standards and budget at the same dealership. I loathe the negotiation process employed by most car companies. The Lord blessed me with a wonderful young lady who was not pushy at all and very patient working with me. I was certain that I had found the perfect vehicle for our last young driver. It met all my specs including highest safety rating on the market. It was also sporty and cute fully equipped with everything she wanted. Not to mention, it sipped gas which is always a bonus. It was perfect!
When I took her to see the car, I was super excited until she got in it. She didn’t like it as I did. She loved everything about it except the one thing I couldn’t change which was the size. Don’t get me wrong she was thankful indeed but clearly uneasy about the smallness in comparison to other vehicles on the road. I was so disappointed. The dealership was throwing in so many extras to facilitate the purchase but she was still uncomfortable. I have to be honest. I was frustrated. The brand of car is my favorite and personal choice. I was so certain that this was it. Mom got mad.
Well, to spare you the details, my husband suggested another car at another lot which was perfect for our daughter. She fell in love on sight. It had everything she wanted and was a much better price than my selection. Isn’t that how it is with the Lord sometimes? We have our heart set on something in particular. We do not want to “compromise” for God’s Choice so we settle for substitutions which do not offer the full satisfaction for our soul. I could have bought the car of my choice. But instead realized in this situation, dad’s choice was better. In the end, when it came to counting the cost and signing the papers, the price was far better than my choice would have been. I guess father knew best in this scenario.
The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
My approach to life looks for God in absolutely everything. Why? Because I find that in the simple pause and asking that He indeed speaks to us, guides us, instructs us, and helps us by the Spirit that is placed within us. The Lord directs our steps but does not force us to go in His Direction. His Ways are higher than our ways and therefore many times even in our wanderings and wildernesses it all leads back to Him. This is important. Romans 8:28 is a promise that every detail of our life has good potential even the most horrible things can yield good fruit simply because God is God. He is love. His Grace is always enough. He turns mourning into dancing. He sifts through ashes to reveal beauty. Brokenness is His Favorite because it is the birthplace of masterpieces.
Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.
There are many times that God gives us a hint or glimpse of what He is doing that our need for control runs off in our own direction trying to finish the story written by the perfect and sovereign will of God. We end up disappointed sure it was the Lord’s Plan but unhappy with the results. This is usually because we do not count the cost in advance. The blessing of the Lord comes with no sorrow added to it. If there is dissatisfaction, I assure you friend, God did not make a mistake. It is either unfinished or finished by us.
Luke 14:27-33 (NLT) And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. “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? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. “But don’t begin until you count the cost. What is the cost to be disciple of Christ? So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own. How many times do we go part of the way with God and then try to finish the journey ourselves? The cost of discipleship is everything. God isn’t trying to take your “stuff” but rather attempting to give you the Kingdom. All of it. The tangible and intangible blessings of His Kingdom are available to those who choose to lay down their life, pick up their own cross, and be yoked with Jesus Christ.
Giving up our way is the hardest thing to do. To release our own expectation to allow godly expectation be our hope without seeing it or even fully understanding it. Faith is what we know not what we see. It is to study God’s Word, pray for its promises, crucify all doubt that leads to fearful wanderings, and to fully embrace Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He came to give us a rich and satisfying life. He did not fail but emerged triumphantly from the grave offering us the keys to the Kingdom. Will you take hold of them today?
Releasing human expectation to embrace supernatural realization that faith will produce the harvest that is promised if you choose to count the cost and consider the price to follow Christ. Giving up our way to fully embrace what the Lord has planned is difficult. I tell people all the time that if two people tied their right leg together and tried to walk together in unison for a day it would be a struggle but might work. However, to give up your way for a week, month, year or lifetime is a very different story. The level of commitment is huge. This is what it looks like to walk with Christ. To bind ourselves to Him and choose to go where He goes forsaking all others. The cost of His Way is to give up our way completely. It is all of you for all of Him. He must increase while I decrease. Fulfillment will come to those who learn to trust Him more than human reasoning, take up their cross daily, and live in love with Jesus! The promise is clear that those who do will be complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. One thing becomes evident – our Heavenly Father always knows best.
Ephesians 3:16-20 (NLT) I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.