Now great multitudes were going with him. He turned and said to them, â€œIf anyone comes to me, and doesnâ€™t disregard his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he canâ€™t be my disciple. Whoever doesnâ€™t bear his own cross, and come after me, canâ€™t be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesnâ€™t first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him, saying, â€˜This man began to build, and wasnâ€™t able to finish.â€™ Or what king, as he goes to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an envoy, and asks for conditions of peace. So therefore whoever of you who doesnâ€™t renounce all that he has, he canâ€™t be my disciple.â€ Â Â Â Luke 14:25-33 (WEB)
Have you ever stepped up to pay for groceries and not had enough money to cover the purchase? Embarrassed? Oh, yes. But I also felt frustration that I had not calculated the expense correctly. My husband laughs and brags at how close I can estimate our grocery expenses. Iâ€™ve learned!
The cost of being a disciple was not something I estimated very accurately in the early years. â€œJesus loves meâ€ was the focal message of my relationship with Him. And rightly so. It would be hard for me to explain in words how overwhelmed with love I was when Jesus came into my life. I was (am!) so unworthy but Jesus poured out His love on me any way. He knew how much I needed His healing love. It was a season of soaking that made me new and strengthened me for the years ahead. I became the warrior that God had always wanted me to be.
And I have learned that warriors must go to boot camp. Warriors need muscles, endurance, and skills. Boot camp is a time when a new recruit comes to a place where â€˜Dadâ€™ doesnâ€™t tell the soldier the â€˜rightâ€™ thing to do and â€˜Momâ€™ doesnâ€™t fix the boo-booâ€™s. A soldierâ€™s commanding officer (CO) becomes everything to that soldier. The CO is the teacher and leader. The soldier learns to obey that CO without question. The soldiers are taught to work together for the greater good of the team. Teams work together for the victory of the plan set out by the Commander-in-Chief.
A soldierâ€™s time is not their own. They are committed to their King. He has their allegiance. Ask any family of a soldier and they will tell you that the soldier in their family must obey orders and the familyâ€™s wants â€“ come second.
As I learn and grow as a soldier in Godâ€™s Army, I must make hard choices. Jesus said that no one, no one, is to come before Him. In Matthew 8:18-22, He even told a man that burying his father was not the right choice. Hard choices.
How tightly do I hold on to my spouse? How tightly do I hold on to my children? Hard questions.
Jesusâ€™ love has not diminished for me. My love for Him has grown. My trust and faith in Him has grown. And so when God is first in my life, I leave my husband and I leave my children in Godâ€™s hands. Oh how thankful, on-my-face thankful that my husband and my children are also in Godâ€™s Army. For those that I love that have not signed on, I am praying that they will. That, too, is in Godâ€™s hands because as much as I want them to enlist, my King wants all of His children more.