205790488_b590fe6fc4_m.jpgFor those of you pursuing the transformed life of Christ, I offer the following note – shared with those in our fellowship at New River Community Church (we call it “going outside the camp”; from Hebrews 13). 

Some of us are preparing to go outside the camp.  Others have already taken some tentative steps.  Still others may have begun the journey, determined to press on through any circumstance or reproach.  In either case, counting the cost has been a prerequisite.  Christ strongly suggested it; Luke 14: 

27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. 

What is the cost?  It is everything.  Many of us, even in this moment, are wrestling with the reality of that truth.  There are no tricksters in our leadership.  Scott and others have been careful to point out the true cost of discipleship.  If you are like me, the cost is sometimes daunting – even discouraging.  This morning, in the midst of living in the cost, I needed some encouragement.  The LORD has been gracious and faithful.  Let me share with you my “counting the blessing”:

  1. A cleanness of heart that allows me to boldly enter into His presence (Psalm 51:10).
  2. All the promises of the abiding life (John 15); particularly, “I have called you friends”.
  3. The reality of John 16: 23 and 24 (that your joy may be full).  The subtle truth here is you don’t start with asking aright, or even faith, but with closeness to Christ.
  4. Peace beyond understanding (Philippians 4:4-7).
  5. Experiencing miracles and the manifestation of His power, on a regular basis (Acts 2:43).
  6.   Many coming to Christ (Acts 2:46); including our family and friends. A deeper, more meaningful and encouraging revelation of God (Jeremiah 33:3).

In summary, I am encouraged to believe that the further I travel outside the camp, the more I will know that God is more real than my current reality.  Nothing will dissuade me from my knowledge of the love and will of the LORD.   

In closing, let me suggest that you find another with the willingness to believe the LORD’s promises for those that will go outside-the-camp (word search on “righteous man”).  With prayer, encourage one another.  Your faith will multiply and you will find the discouragement and fear shrinking away.   

Will you believe with me?  If necessary, let me believe for you.  It’s all Christ’s faith, anyway. 

Dying to see His glory,