The Cost of Following (Judges 20)

followingjesus

In today’s chapter we read about the aftermath of the previous chapter. After the death of his concubine, the Levite chapped her body into 12 pieces and sent them throughout the land of Israel as a call to arms. The people of Israel came together to find out what had happened in the city of Gibeah. The Levite told them, and they all decided to go to war with the tribe of Benjamin for what had happened in Gibeah. Judah was chosen to lead the armies of Israel. After 2 attempts (with significant loss), they made one final attempt to overcome the Benjamites. They succeeded and destroyed the entire city to Gibeah.

When we set out to do the things God requires of us, is it hard or easy? Does it cost us little or a lot? The people of Israel had a wake-up call, and realized the great evil that had happened in their land. They knew, for the Law of God, that the evil had to be purged from the land. But when calls  upon us to do something, it is seldom an easy thing. Sometimes we even fail.

I believe that when we given an opportunity to do God’s work, He can test our resolve. He will sometimes make us fail to make sure we are really committed. The Israelite’s knew what they had to do, and God wanted them to do it, yet they still failed twice before succeeding. God wanted to make sure that they were doing this for the right reasons, and that they were committed to uphold His Law.

God’s work also makes us give up lots. A rich man came to Jesus and asked how he could get eternal life. Jesus told him two things. First he was to keep the commandment. Then he said, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Luke 18:22, NASB). Jesus asked this man to give up everything. Each time a disciple was called to follow, he had to leave his family, job, and life behind in order to follow Jesus. This just says to me that we must be prepared to give up everything for God’s work.

If you are feeling called to do something, I encourage you to persist through your failures. Failures don’t mean you’re wrong. The phrase “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called” comes to mind. That qualification process, is a learning process, and sometimes we fail. The cost of following can feel like a failure as well. Giving up/losing everything feels so wrong in our cultures that teaches “more, more, more”. But if it is truly the call of God working in you, it will work out for good. I encourage all followers to keep working, and trust in God. He’s helping us to become more like Him, which is completely different from the people we were before.

Also in this series

 

Psalms to Pray: Psalm 88

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