“If we belong to Jesus Christ, we should never compromise our spiritual decisions on the basis of ‘What is this going to cost me?’ We ought only to ask, ‘What is my spiritual duty and my spiritual privilege before God?’” This quote from A.W. Tozer cuts to the core of our resistance to follow Christ no matter the cost. Jesus didn’t ask if the price was worth it when He went to the cross.
He simply did what was required to live a life that looked like that of His Father. He didn’t turn away from the most excruciating pain and humiliation a man could ever know. He knew what His duty was before God, and it was His privilege to serve God in a way that at once pleased His Father and saved all of those selfish, wretched souls He loved so much.
Do we often see our spiritual duty as being a privilege? In my own life, spiritual duty has more often than not been uncomfortable and I have found myself questioning the activity before jumping in. I want to please Jesus, but my own desires for comfort and security often get in the way. How different things might be if we saw them for what they really were, as our privilege rather than our duty. Would we not be more likely to take leaps of faith if we saw them as a privilege? Duty often takes willpower; privilege is a joy.
As long as we are counting the cost of taking action for Christ, our eyes are not on Him. We’re focused on ourselves, debating whether or not the “duty” before us will be worth the pain we might encounter by doing it. We worry we’ll be laughed at, ostracized, or even physically harmed. We see this Spiritual duty as a difficult path to follow rather than a privilege to enjoy. Our mindset is twisted because our focus is on ourselves rather than Jesus.
Taking action for the Kingdom is never too dangerous, too uncomfortable, or too difficult. It is an honor and privilege to stand with Jesus and further His mission. If we don’t get that, we are missing the whole of what it means to be a disciple. Nothing compares to pleasing the object of your affection. The problem is too often, the object of our affection is our self.
Who do you love most? Where are your eyes focused? If you are counting the cost, you aren’t following Jesus. Several times in Scripture, Christ gave examples of people leaving everything behind to follow Him. No matter what excuse they gave, He informed them looking back or thinking what following Him would cost them was incompatible with being one of His disciples (Matthew 8:21-22, Luke 9:57-58, Luke 9:61-62). To count the cost of obedience is to doubt in the provision of Jesus. To consider the cost of following Christ is to assume something could be worth more than following Him. If we hesitate, we are lost. Our only hope for salvation is to forget about any consequence which might compete for our affection. Serving Jesus is not only the duty of a disciple; it is their privilege.