The cost of discipleship

5/13/2005 6:02 AM

S: “Then King David said to Ornan, ‘No, but I will surely buy it for the
full price, for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, nor offer burnt
offerings with that which costs me nothing.'” 1 Chronicles 21:24

O: David has just trusted in the strength of his army and not in God. And
God punishes him for it. He gives him the choice of 7 years of famine, 3
months of running from the enemy or 3 days of destruction and death by God.
David chooses the 3 days.

When it was nearly done, the death is so huge that even David stops and says
– “Wasn’t it I who sinned?”

It seems that two things happen here: 1) sin always has consequences, and
2) sin of leaders carries consequences to the whole group of people.

But David is then instructed to go and sacrifice and his famous line to the
owner of the field and threshing floor, who offers it to David for free. “I
will not offer God anything that costs me nothing.”

It’s a very noble phrase. And one that once again, comes out of David’s
heart for righteousness and good. He is repentant. He understands that sin
has a cost. He understands that there is a cost of discipleship.

A: I also understand that there is a cost of discipleship. I have given up
a lot to follow God. Sometimes I would respond like Peter if I were asked
whether I was also going to flee Jesus, when he said, “Where would we go?
We have given up everything to follow you.”

The cost has been high. I’ve given up dreams, friends, and some of life. I
continue to give things up for the sake of following Him and Him alone. I
don’t regret it. But don’t let anyone tell you that the cost of following
Jesus is light.

No, the cost is EVERYTHING. But Jesus says the burden is light and His yoke
is easy. In other words, the struggle for me is not when I give it up, but
choosing to give it up.

God has taken such good care of me and my family. He’s taken care of me.
Even though I have given up dreams of sports, baseball careers, wine, women
and song, I don’t regret it. Even though the cost of following God has
taken me down a path of giving up foods, giving up sins, giving up agendas,
and giving up privileges that others get to enjoy. I do not regret it.

P: Lord, following you has been a high price. I love it! I want to follow
you to the very end of time – which will never come. I pray you will
strengthen my desire to do just that. I know that I will make mistakes
along the way. I know that I will make mistakes that will hurt people, that
will destroy some, and that will damage you cause. I don’t want to do that,
Lord. But I do want to have the repentant heart of David.

I never want to offer myself easily, it must cost me something, Lord.
Please guide me. Please come into my heart. I submit myself to you. I
give up control. I give up affirmation. I give up entertainment. I give
up stuff that simply would affect my relationship to you. I pray, Lord, for
the Holy Spirit to take control of my life. I submit ME to you. I love