WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 25, 2022
TOPIC: COUNT THE COST BUT DON’T OVERCOUNT!
BY T. O. BANSO
“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” (Luke 14:28 New King James Version).
Faith is spelt R-I-S-K. That is taking a risk on God’s word! This is a good risk. Those who take this kind of risk judge God faithful; they believe that He cannot fail. “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised” (Hebrews 11:11 New King James Version). They know that He who calls them is faithful, who also will do it (1Thessalonians 5:24).
Luke 14:28 says, “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” (New King James Version). Count the cost but don’t overcount the cost. The meaning of the phrase “count the cost” in the Bible is different from the Dictionary meaning, which is “to start to understand how badly something has affected you” (Cambridge Dictionary). The meaning of the phrase in the Bible is to give much thought to something before you start it, sit down and estimate the cost, or count the expence whether you have what is needed to finish it. But in the context in which Jesus used the phrase, He was talking about the cost of being His disciple.
Count the cost but don’t overcount. Those who overcount the cost engage in too much analysis which, as some would say, leads to paralysis. Because some people want to be very sure what the outcome will be, they are always reluctant to do something even when they have a confirmation in the Spirit to do it. They could be looking for a perfect situation before they step out – everything must be right. Ecclesiastes 11:4 says he who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. The New Living Translation renders the verse thus: “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.”
Even if the fruits are evidently succulent and the land is truly flowing with milk and honey, the size of the giant won’t let the calculation be right enough for some people to step out (Numbers 13:27-33).
In Judges 5:15-18, Deborah said that the princes of Issachar were with her and Barak rushing into the valley, Zebulun risked his life and Naphtali was on the battlefield. Unfortunately, in the tribe of Reuben, there was great indecision (there were great searchings of heart). They couldn’t decide to go to the battlefield. It might be that they were counting the cost. That is the difference between those who walk by faith and those who walk by fear. The inhabitants of Gilead (Gad or Manasseh) and the tribes of Dan and Asher also stayed away from the war. They didn’t come to help their brothers.
Those who step out in faith are not careless gamblers but they take risks on (have faith in) the Word of God trusting that, whatever happens, they are in the safe hand of God. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10 New King James Version).
The pursuit of your destiny involves risks which you must take, under God, resting in Him. Without taking these risks, your destiny will never speak. “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!’” (Esther 4:15-16 New King James Version).
The good news is that Esther never perished. But if she had evaded this responsibility because of the fear of death as a consequence of violating the tradition, she would have perished along with other Jews upon the success of the genocide plotted by Haman against the Jews. But prompted by Mordecai, she faced up with this historic and monumental challenge and the Lord granted her favour in the sight of the king.
All the facts are not always available before you step out. You just trust God’s Word and believe that God will cause all things to work together for your good – all things including your mistakes (Romans 8:28). Count the cost but don’t overcount the cost. Don’t let the fear of the unknown cripple you. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Pray and obey what you believe the Holy Spirit is telling you. Make sure it doesn’t violate the Word of God.
Even if you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, fear no evil for God is with you (Psalm 23:4). “‘For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Me,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 39:18 New King James Version). God will never leave you or forsake you; He is your helper (Hebrews 13:5b-6).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I rebuke the spirit of fear in Jesus’ name. The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me? I will step out in faith and do what I believe God has laid on my heart to do. I pray for courage for all the people who need to step out in faith and do what God has laid on their hearts. They will act in faith and not continue to waver in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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