Some of us want to do more than enjoy God’s benefits. We want to serve him in some capacity, either full-time in a professional ministry or part-time as a layperson, whichever he prefers.
God says we must count the cost when considering this outcome. We must be ready, willing, and able to commit to him unconditionally, without any reservations.
Counting the cost means giving up figurative ownership of everything we have, do, and are. It means agreeing to follow God on his terms, not ours. Jesus explains this concept in Luke 14:26-33.
If you are serious about serving God and want to count the cost of following him unconditionally, find a pad of paper and list the following items.
- The good things you currently enjoy, e.g., activities, comforts, conveniences, hobbies, material items, relationships, career.
- The good things you would like to enjoy in the future if all your dreams were to come true.
- Everything you are as a person, e.g., strengths, weaknesses, interests, likes, dislikes, reputation, self-image.
- Description of the person you aspire to be, e.g., character qualities, social skills, wholeness.
- What you are currently doing, e.g., attending school, pursuing a career, volunteering at church.
- Everything you want to do, e.g., desires, goals, dreams.
- Your victories, e.g., achievements, accolades, successes, things you are proud of.
- Your baggage, e.g., past mistakes, failures, disappointments, things you regret.
- The problems currently facing you.
- The sinful habits that plague you.
- The fears that haunt you.
- The uncertainties about the future that concern you.
- Your deficiencies, e.g., health, education, training.
- Your restrictions, e.g., family obligations, physical limitations, financial constraints.
At the bottom of your list, write the following prayer.
“God, I want to walk in harmony with you and serve you in some capacity as long as I live. I give you ownership of each item on this list so you can align my life with your will. I ask you to imprint your message on my heart so I can speak authentically about your excellence. I ask you to give me the character, wisdom, and experience that will enable me to be a faithful and effective messenger. I ask you to give me the noble desires that will help me discover my divine destiny. I am willing to go wherever you want and do whatever you want. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”
Read this prayer out loud to God. Then sign your name underneath it and record the time and date. The entire document is now your contract with God. Store it somewhere safe.
Counting the cost of following God is a serious undertaking, but permitting him to reorient our life as he sees fit is nothing to fear.
God is not an ogre. He is not waiting for us to surrender everything we hold dear, so he can take away these things and make us miserable.
God has only good intentions for our future. He is fully committed to our welfare. He is worthy of our trust.
Surrendering our life to God is a significant step in discovering our divine destiny. The essence of surrender is gain, not loss, as we walk in harmony with him.
Surrender frees God to instill in us the desire for the things that truly satisfy our hearts. Our pursuit of these noble desires leads to the divine destiny he has planned for us.
Thus, God helps us figure out where we truly want to go, then leads us down that path.
And along the way, he transforms us into the person we want to be and builds into our life the message he wants us to convey to the world.
Our history becomes his story.
Read About How To Determine God’s Will
God’s will is easy to discern when we have only one viable option. But sometimes we have several choices, and the best one is not obvious. Here is a protocol for making sound decisions.