“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the 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’?
I have observed that a number of Christians are uncomfortable with being asked to look at the end of this phase of their lives. Maybe it’s the fear of death or of letting go of the familiar for the unfamiliar.
But Jesus teaches otherwise. In Luke 14:25-33, He tells all who chose to follow Him to start their journey by first looking at the end. Why?
Because finishing well is not accidental but planned. Because finishing well is not the only option for those who start as there is also the possibility of not being able to finish well. This second option, Jesus explained was a likelihood for those who have not come to terms with the possible cost of finishing.
Jesus’ counsel to all who would follow Him is:
“… sit down first and count the cost, whether he (we) have enough to finish”
While there is great benefit in learning to enjoy the moment, we must nevertheless abide by His counsel to count the cost of finishing well.
Of Jesus, Hebrews 12:2 states:
“ … who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame…”.
Thus, endurance of death and shame was a price He had to pay to be able to finish.
In His farewell speech to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:23-24, Apostle Paul states:
“… except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself,so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus,…”.
Counting his life of no value was a price he had to pay to be able to finish.
The Word of God is a guide for us on the price we might need to pay, such as, walking in humility, perseverance, patience, selflessness, renewal of the mind with the Word, forgiveness, love for one another, diligence in serving God with our talents etc.; or things we cannot afford to indulge in, for example – malice, pride, unforgiveness, sexual immorality, lies, unbelief or doubting God, etc if we are to finish well.
Counting what it would cost us to follow Jesus through to the end is not an option, it is compulsory. Why? Because the cost we count will enable us take deliberate steps and intentionally pay to run successfully to the end.
The true cost? All. Everything. Nothing should be of greater value than Jesus. Nothing should be put ahead of Him, nothing must count or matter more than Him. All that we are, all that we have must be made subject to Him. That is the only way to go if we are to finish well.
All means all – time, talent, money, thoughts, marriage, agendas, ambitions, plans, desires, relationships, - everything.
While following Jesus to the end is a personal decision, we need the Holy Spirit to give us the power to do so; for though it is our responsibility to count the cost, the power to pay the price does not lie within us but in the Lord.
If you have heeded Jesus’ teaching and have truly counted the cost – remind yourself of what that cost is, encourage yourself to pay it and continue to grow in His grace to finish well.
If you have never sat down since you became a Christian to do this, please do so now. Study the scriptures, spend time with God in the place of prayer and find out from Him what His purpose for your life is and exactly how this may be completed successfully.
I pray for you in the name of Jesus that you will not run in vain. I cancel and frustrate every completed and uncompleted works of the enemy programmed against you to hinder you from running strong or finishing well in Jesus’ name. I decree over your life and in the name of Jesus that you will run strong, you will finish well! The Lord bless and keep you in Jesus name.