Luke 14:28-33 – “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down, and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 “Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.” NASB
What a powerful truth that our Lord has given here and one that too often we fail to observe. It has been my experience, personally and in dealing with others, that too often we do not “count the costs” before engaging in something. We get a whim and take off without honestly and carefully evaluating what is before us and what it will take to complete it.
We have all known people who “engage their mouths before engaging their brains,” and know the problems that can occur in that. Likewise, we all know people and probably have participated personally in some endeavor that was not “thought out,” or “evaluated” and found that once it had begun that we would not have the resources or ability to complete it. That made future endeavors suspect in the minds of many who had observed our folly in the former situation.
Thus, we have Jesus’ warning that you do not attempt to build a building without calculating whether you have sufficient resources to complete it. To fail to do so would likely result in becoming the laughingstock of those observing and hinder future efforts on your part! That is incredibly important in life and the things of the Kingdom of God.
He went on to paint the picture of a king or leader who saw an advancing army that was double his strength. That king, our Lord confirmed, would evaluate his ability to overcome the size and strength of the invading army and if he determined he could not he would send a delegation seeking peace long before the invading army arrived. That would be self-preservation and completely logical. Any other course of action would result in the likely destruction of the nation and the king.
In matters of the Kingdom of God, it is important that we “count the costs.” God’s business is, without doubt, worth whatever the cost but it is equally important for us to not get drawn into zeal without clear direction and support of God and those in company with us.
America during WWII our nation could not have successfully waged war against aggressor nations without the entire populace “counting the cost” and making the commitment to endure and overcome. In matters of the Spirit, it is important that we “count the costs,” evaluate our resources, and make whatever commitment is needed Before entering any pursuit. We want to lift up our Lord not become distractions due to our Zeal.
May God be with you as you go through your day!