“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'” (Luke 14.28-30, ESV)
Yes, it's the New Year again... The Noughties have been and gone, and here come the... um... err... "Tens"? "Teens"? "Twenty-tens"?
Whatever they may be called, one thing is for sure: we have a choice in how we apprehend this decade. We can wait and see what happens, "letting" God do His will in Herne Bay and beyond while we enjoy the show, or we can decide to participate in pursuing all He has prepared for us. Guess which of those God would prefer us do?
The above verses relate some everyday common-sense regarding a deliberate attitude to the Christian life: you want to follow a certain career path, or ensure certain values are established in your family/home/lifestyle, or you intend to grow in the giftings God has prepared for you. All of these are available, God-willing, but we do have to become serious about it ourselves. Planning, setting goals, putting routines into place, setting aside specific times to study, none of these are counter to trusting in God's sovereignty. His rule over all things does not mean we should do nothing and become spectators, nor does it mean we are puppets with no say in the matter! It means we get the unbelievable opportunity to labour alongside the King of all kings in His endeavours! We get to explore His adventure as it unfolds!
Luke's text in chapter 14 is in the context of not taking the decision to follow Christ lightly. As we prayerfully "work out our salvation" (Phil 2.12), we unfold His purposes for us. As we plan how we approach the next year and further - personal goals are a great way to start - we unearth God's own plans for us too. I'm determined to be more deliberate in pursuit of what God has prepared for myself, my family and His church than ever before this year. How about you?
("You won't accidentally get close to God" - On this same Touchpaper theme, check this link for a great help on developing stronger devotional times)