“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it — lest, after he has laid the 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, NKJV).
Christ knew many of his followers would not have what it took to see them through. He knew they would turn back and not finish the race. I believe this is the most tragic condition possible for a believer. They start out fully intending to lay hold of Christ, to grow into a mature disciple and become more like Jesus; then they drift away. Such a person is the one who laid a foundation and could not finish because he did not first count the cost.
What a joy it is to meet those who are indeed finishing the race! These believers are growing in the wisdom and knowledge of Christ. They are being transformed daily, from moment to moment. Paul says to them encouragingly, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). It is not heaven these believers seek but Christ in his glory!
I know that many who read this particular message are in the process of pausing or taking a step backward. It may seem like a small step, but it will cause a swift descent away from his love. If this is true of you, realize the Holy Spirit is calling you all the way back, back to repentance, self-denial and surrender. At this very moment, time is a big factor. If you ever intend to lay hold of Christ, do it now. See it through!