"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 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? Otherwise , when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'
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?
Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions." Luke 14:27-33
I'll never forget it.
I was in high school going to Dallas Junior Academy, a Seventh-day Adventists church school. At a youth camp religious retreat on Friday night a pastor gave a fiery--but relevant--sermon. The music, tailor-made for the 1970's youth, had been emotional. The altar call to come give your life to Christ had been short when one of the cool kids went up front.
It was a very impactful moment for the rest of the teenagers, as well as the adults.
Soon many more of the cool kids, known to have been involved in both promiscuous relationships and occasional drug use, went to the front of the out-of-doors picnic area to dedicate their lives to Christ.
They all cried, I cried. I thanked the Lord for this moment. It was a miracle.
I was on supernatural wings until school started again on Monday. Those kids would be different now. Their lives will begin to change and the school will become a little piece of heaven.
Then, at lunch, those same kids began to talk to each other and the rest of us who had watched them. They mocked their spiritual experience and brushed it off as if it had been stupid. I was aghast. Hurt for them, hurt for God. But it taught me a lesson.
The Lord wants us to really think about becoming a disciple, not just have an experience that takes us to the altar of a church on an emotional whim. Jesus said we are to calmly, rationally think about what it means and the sacrifice we must make to be a follower of His.
It takes time to count the cost.
One can have an experience of God's love and an emotional supernatural understanding of the gospel in a moment. Christ can show us our sins and we can truly repent and determine to turn from our sins in one short evening. Yet Christ says that once we begin plowing we are not to look back. We need to take a few minutes to think about it.
Becoming a disciple of Christ is life changing.