Tag Archives: Calling

Count the Cost

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” Luke 14:28

When counting the cost of something, that may be our time, money, conveniences, etc. To live a life for Christ demands the sum of these. It’s all our material possessions, emotional comforts and physical well-being tossed onto the proverbial table. In our Scripture above, His analogy of building a tower is simple – Christ is not demanding anything of us. He simply instructs us to take inventory of what a life of service and discipleship will require, to ensure we can finish the job.

Imagine a road. Imagine its long and winding path, sheltered and encased by the branches of majestic trees, whose roots are deep with life. You are ready. Your eye is on the finish. With each step along the narrow path you’re drawn more forward by the longing in your spirit for the Greatness you know lies ahead at your destination. Along the way, you pick up weary travelers, lifeless in spirit. You tell them of this Greatness – that which can breathe life into them again, heal their wounds and satisfy any hunger. More and more follow. You assure them, where you’re going, there is plenty of room for all (John 14:2).

The journey is long and the bottoms of your shoes become worn. The night falls steadily, along with the hope that sparked your first steps. Your pace ceases as you find yourself staring dejectedly at the unexpected mountain before you. There is no way around this mountain. Only over it. To take such a journey of strength will require a lightened load and the use of your hands for climbing. This means abandoning all your possessions for the sake of the climb. Disillusionment creeps in as you are taunted by your own ill-preparedness. Fear tells you to turn around. In that moment, you’re faced with a choice that will impact not only your own life, but the lives of so many others.

In your weakness and fear, you turn. When you do, you are face to face with all the weary travelers who are following you, uncertain of why you stopped. As you pass through the sea of searching faces, your actions of retreat make words unnecessary. The travelers who were once filled with hope are now standing in silence, gazing back and forth between their retreating leader and the mountain before them. The cloaks of dejectedness and disillusionment are passed through the crowd as the vision of Greatness you spoke of fades with every step backwards you take. For many, hurt turns to anger and bitterness for leading them so far for nothing. They leave the path, never to return (2 Peter 2:21). Others ridicule you. For others, they continue to follow you, turning back to the place that took the life within them and made them weary in the first place.

But there is one. There is one who remains staring at the mountain. He takes his time to think about the journey and all it will require. When weighed against the reward of the Greatness that waits on the other side, there is no hesitation in his spirit (Isaiah 6:8). He gathers those who are still found motionless in the confusion and calls out to those who have already turned around to see if any will follow with him. They leave any unnecessary thing and, together, begin the climb.

Which one will you be?

Be blessed,
C.K.

The Kicker

“…So Esau despised his birthright.” Genesis 25:34

Do you ever wonder if you’re “called” to do something? Rather than tell you what it feels like, I’m going to ask you, by laying out a series of questions about your desires. Hold out until the end because, with all things, there’s a “kicker.”

To get us in the right frame of mind, the desires I’m referring to are not about things you can get. They’re about things you can give… your God-given gifts and talents. Your gift could be artistic, business oriented, working with your hands in a trade, lending emotional support to hurting people, writing, or as a financial giver. Don’t overthink the answers. Just make a mental note of whatever immediately pops into your mind as you read through these next questions. They’re certainly not all-inclusive, but I hope it’s a start to get you thinking.

Do you have a passion stirring deep inside that you tell yourself is just your own desire, but deep down you know — you can feel — it’s something so much bigger than you? Do you have an almost restless sensation that gives you an unexplainable urge or need to do that thing? And when I say restless, I really mean a Sigourney Weaver alien bursting out of your stomach kind of restless. On that note, does it also scare you? Does it take you beyond your present comfort zone? Do other people reaffirm your gift? When you’re operating in that gift, does it feel easier than you thought, fulfilling, and help seems to come just when you need it? Despite fear, does the idea of not doing it leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled?

Here’s a big one.

Is there an inaudible yet unmistakable voice… something you sense in the deepest recesses of your being that something… Someone… is calling out to you and telling you to cross that comfort line and do what you already know is welling up in you?

I don’t know what’s going through your mind right now, but I hope it’s validation of what you already know to be true. A name for your gift. Your call to action. Your calling.

Writing books and speaking/teaching is my calling. I used to be afraid to say that out loud. I used to let Satan fill my head with lies and fears. “No one will buy your books.” “No one will care what you have to say.” “You don’t have the right degrees.” I’ve dealt with tough negative self-talk over the years, but wasn’t able to get to the other side of it until I learned something very valuable. It’s not about me.

It’s not about you either. It’s about what God can do through us, if we’re willing.

I don’t need to care about who will or won’t buy my books. I just have to write them. I don’t have to worry about what people think of what I teach. I just have to invest time in studying, listening, and writing, and what those words do when they fall on someone’s eyes or ears is up to Him. It’s freeing, really. But you need to choose to give God control. Listening and answering the call are the easy parts. Give God the hard part, which is how people respond to what you offer.

I’m not suggesting answering the call makes the rest of the journey easy or care free. My first book, Stolen, is being published in a little over three weeks. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t feeling vulnerable and nervous putting myself out there like that. But I try to remind myself it’s not about me. It’s about the message, which is in God’s hands now. The same goes for you.

Ok, here’s the kicker. Are you ready?

You can’t take forever to decide to answer the call. God’s Word shows us if we don’t respond, He’ll find someone else who will. In Genesis 25, Esau despised his birthright, so God passed over him and granted it to his younger brother, Jacob. Do you recall all the places in the Bible where it refers to the great lineage of patriarchs “Abraham, Isaac and Esau?” Whoops. That turned into “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Or what about the business of King Saul? Saul had the throne of Israel first, but kept hardening his heart, so God passed over him too, and anointed that quiet shepherd boy we now know as King David. It was from King David’s lineage that Jesus, the Messiah was born. Double ouch for Saul.

The morale of the story is simple. First, don’t ignore the God-given gifts He is speaking to, and burning inside of, your heart. Second, don’t be afraid. Step up and step out. He’ll be there to carry you the whole way. I love the saying, “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.” Lastly, don’t live a life of regret because you didn’t step up and out, and God passed your call onto someone else who would. You can’t undo that decision, and you have no idea the great plans God has for you, your whole family, and the lives of so many others. Don’t overthink it. Just answer it. I challenge you to take one step forward over the next week. Big step. Small step. It doesn’t matter. Just take a step, and see what God does.

Be blessed,
C.K.