[Course 17 Index] [Prophetic-School Index] [Mini-Series Index] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]

-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Rodney Hogue RodHogue@aol.com
Editor: Teresa Seputis
Transcribed by: Diane Wilson

Vision For Your Life And Ministry

By Rodney Hogue

Lesson 13
Counting The Cost

In our last lesson, we talked about following Jesus. Let me share the main barrier to following Jesus, because there is indeed a barrier. That barrier is the cost. It's just too high. It is real high and for many people they just can't get past this one. Jesus would say this and this is a consistent thing. This isn't the only time it's in the gospels. Continually He would say, this is in Matthew 16.24: "Jesus said to them, if any of you want to be My follower you must put aside your selfish ambitions, shoulder your cross and follow Me."

This is true if you want to move in the prophetic and it is also true if you want to be used in any other type of ministry. Many of you have heard the term "paying the price for the prophetic." Many people misunderstand that to mean that you have to pay some sort of special "price" to be allowed to move in the prophetic. But that is not what it means at all. It means that if you want God to really use you, to really gift you, then you have to allow Him to really mature you as well. That is true for the prophetic and it is true for pretty much any other ministry as well. And that maturity process takes time and it often has some very painful elements. But God needs to work His character in you, to mature you, before you can be an effective spokesperson for Him. If you want to be God's mouthpiece, then you have to allow Him to crucify the old nature and to work His nature in you. That often comes through the refiner's fire.

You see, Jesus is going to require your whole life. It does not matter whether or not you want to be a minister. It does not matter whether or not you want to be a prophet. If you are Jesus' follower, His disciple, then that is the cost. I know it's simple. Follow Him. But it's going to cost you your life to do so.

A lot of people were really interested in following Jesus but not everybody could do it. One guy came to Jesus one time and he was a scribe in Matthew 8 and he said to him: "Teacher I will follow you wherever you go." But Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head." We talked about what they did in the way of teaching and teaching a follower in the last lesson. The student went with the teacher. He said, "You can follow me if you want, however, your little comforts at home that you've been used to, you won't have them."

There's a price to be paid. And there is a great price in following Jesus because He is going to want all of your life. He's going to want all your passions. He's going to want all your kingdom. He wants all of Those things that rule you.

The rich, young ruler came to Jesus one day in Mark 10:17. It says: "As He was starting out on a trip a man came running up to Jesus. He knelt down and asked, 'Good teacher, what shall I do to get eternal life?' 'Why do you call me good?' Jesus asked, 'Only God is truly good. But as for your question, you know the commandments. Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not testify falsely, do not cheat, honor your father and mother.' 'Teacher', the man replied, 'I've obeyed all these commandments since I was a child.' Jesus felt genuine love for this man and He looked at him and as he looked at him, he said, 'You lack only one thing.' He told him, 'Go and sell all you have, give the money to the poor and you'll have treasure in heaven. Follow me.' At this the man's face fell and he went sadly because he had many possessions."

This young seeker wanted to maintain two kingdoms. His self kingdom and God's kingdom. When I am talking about a kingdom, I am talking about what rules you, what has authority over you, what dominates you. And he had this little self kingdom that he had established. Jesus told him, "You can't have that kingdom and have Me. If you're going to follow Me, you're going to have to get rid of your kingdom and take on My kingdom." And that's God's plan. That's Jesus' requirements. Nothing less than absolute surrender. It's a total surrender. Laying down your personal rights. Laying down your kingdoms and exchanging your kingdoms for the kingdom of God.

What are your potential self-kingdoms? For this man it was obviously wealth. For other people it is other things. It could be security. Could be knowledge. It could be ambition. Could be recognition. We all have different wants. If you don't know what they are, let me ask you a couple of questions. What is it you must have more than Jesus? Is there anything? If there is then that's a kingdom. What in your life rivals his absolute reign in your life? What is in competition with His rule over you? What do you constantly find yourself giving back over to God? What do you find pulling back and hanging on to? That's your kingdom. It rules you. It dominates you and Jesus says, "You've got to give it up."

The major hindrance in following Him is the cost involved. That cost is our whole life. But Jesus said this as He spoke to His disciples: "If you follow Me, I'll do My part. I'll make you become what I've called you to become. I'll let you know what I've called you to become. I'll give you everything you need to do it. I'll bring it about in your life. I will give you whatever power is necessary. I will give you whatever gifts you need. I will give you whatever relationship. I will give you whatever resources - everything that you need to fulfill what I want you to do", Jesus says, "I will do it in you. I will make you. I will shape you. I will train you. I will equip you. I will empower you. I will send you out. I will do all this. I will make you become this."

And our job is very simple. Follow Him. Do you want to know God's call on your life, God's plan for you? It's simple. He will show you. He will develop you. He will shape you. He will make you. He will reveal it to you when your highest priority is to follow Him. When that is your greatest passion. And the message doesn't get any simpler than this. Follow Him. What are your kingdoms that you have to give up? What rivals the kingdom of God? What rules you and dominates you?

Would you invite the Lord to do a holy probing in your heart right now? Would you be like the psalmist and say, "Search me O God and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the road of everlasting"? Can you just say that? Can you invite the Lord to do a thorough search now and reveal the things in your life that rule you? In that search is the Holy Spirit saying that God rules you? What has the higher priority? What has a greater passion?

And we need to be honest with God. God is not looking for the right answer. He's looking for an honest heart, for a heart that recognizes the area of struggle. Will you now lay that at the cross? Make it a total surrender, because if you don't get rid of it, it will become a barrier to you. It will become a distraction to you and you won't be able to follow Him.

So why don't you just hang out with God for a moment here. And Lord, I ask that that revelation will come. Lord I pray that revelation will come and that we'll be able to see the barriers and the hindrances.

Are you putting yourself in a position to be disciples? Is there someone that you're following? Someone that you're wanting to emulate their behavior? Are you spending time with God everyday or is it like a once a week or once a month thing? Is it everyday? If you don't have a relationship with God you can't spend any time with Him. And if you've never given your life to Him, if you have never made Him Lord of everything you are, then your first step is to ask Jesus to come in and be the boss. But I'll tell you; He is going to expect all your life, not just a portion of it. Just not the part that you want to get rid of and that you're tired of. He's going to want all of your life. In exchange He will give you forgiveness of sin and eternal life and I'll tell you it is a good exchange. And He'll give you the purpose for which He created you. He'll give you life abundantly on this earth as well as life forever in heaven if you'll ask Him to become your Lord.

-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

[Course 17 Index] [Prophetic-School Index] [Mini-Series Index ] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]