There is one undeniable truth that affects and impacts every believer. It is as certain as the Lord’s sacrifice for us, which set that truth before each one of us to respond to. And it is a truth that calls for us to answer the question… what do I really count dear?
God has a plan, a unique plan, for each and every one of His children, a plan for which we have been fully equipped to carry out. The challenge we face is not understanding that plan as He reveals it to us in multiple ways by His Spirit. The challenge is what we do with the calling He sets before us? Do we ignore the call and determine to serve the Lord in some other way or do we accept His calling and allow Him to lead us step-by-step? One way is easy and one way is hard. It is far easier to serve God without following the vision He has given us because “our way” is always the way of human reasoning… common sense. If we follow His way it is the way of “the Spirit,” and once we have chosen that way we will never again be able to depend upon our common sense as it will always be counter to the voice of the Spirit.
If we have accepted the call to the ministry Jesus has set before us, we have to be loyal to it and to Him. His way is the way of the Father… As the Father has sent Me, I also send you (John 20:21). To call or to count anything else “dear” will result in the same thing that Jesus told Saul… Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the pricks. (Acts 26:14). When we turn from His calling to our own vision, the vision He has set before us will be like a prick (goad); a cattle prod used to keep oxen on the right path. Which path do we really count dear? That is the challenge, that is what our life is all about… obedience to His calling, to fulfill our role in His kingdom no matter the cost. Paul understood what it meant to kick against the pricks …
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
He counted the cost and set himself like flint, pursuing the calling, the vision, that the Lord had set before him. And yes, he struggled with the constant battle between his common sense and the voice of the Spirit and he made mistakes along the way. But the Spirit always provided the correction necessary to keep him on the right path, never-failing to be his guide. And the reason is summed up in Paul’s desire above all else… so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus.
We can be committed to no less in our journey through this life… the ministry we have received from Jesus. Following after Him and allowing the Spirit to strengthen and use the gift He has given us to fulfill our role in His body. And to accomplish that we must never consider whether or not we are being of use. We need to consider the fact that we are not our own, we are His. We need to be loyal to His calling and keep before us the vision that our life is precious to Him and it is His way leads to those awesome words…
Matt 25:21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.
Which way is easier? Looking at the “need” we see before us as His calling and responding with our common sense reasoning, or seeing the need as the “opportunity” to seek His way? In the end, it is only His way that is the easy way… the way of the Spirit.