Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who see it will ridicule him, saying “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.”
Quite an interesting portion of scripture. When I first read it, I didn’t pay too much attention to it. Lately however, I have been drawn back to this passage in a bid to find out what it means – to me personally. Am I reading correctly? Estimate the cost before I build? Does this mean if I am actually building a house or a building, maybe starting and running a business? Sure, I guess the interpretation can be applied to almost anything, through the filter of the eyes of the person in need who stumbles upon these verses.
I want to focus on what ought to be considered as the real purpose of this section in Luke. It means far more to me than what is easily interpreted as material building, construction and architecture. Suppose you want to build something, first you will obviously count the cost, purchase the land, have an architect draw plans based on your ideas, get all the necessary permits, then lay the foundation, and begin your construction. If I look at the process that is implied to build a physical building, surely there must be a spiritual parallel in establishing my life in Christ as a believer, with purpose, vision and accomplishment?
2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are His, and Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
My attention is attracted to knowing which foundation I have begun to build my life over the past 29 years. If I know that when I was born again, and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord with my mouth and believed in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, then by personal invitation asking Jesus to come and take up residence in my life, and reading the above scripture, that means God knows me, I am His, and His foundation stands firm, therefore as I begin to plan the building of my tower – becoming His disciple, I am already assured which foundation will be used in the process of building my life in Christ. For me to estimate the cost, becomes evidently clear in that when Christ died on the cross, He paid the full price, releasing me from a debt I could never pay! Additionally, the Son of God became the chief cornerstone.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling place in which God lives by His Spirit.
The scriptural pattern in estimating the cost, and what type of building it is that I ought to be building as well as what foundation to build upon is now becoming clearer! I am beginning to understand the importance of Luke 14:28-30 – Jesus is encouraging me to parallel this definition with regard to my own life as a disciple, and how I should be living and building so that those who look from a distance will see the completed finished work of Christ in me, and not a futile frustrated life that didn’t achieve nor accomplished what Christ intended.
Does this mean that I am to focus only on myself as a disciple, living out my life? Certainly not.
1 Corinthians 3:5-9
What, after is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
The paradigm shifts here. Attention now lends itself to the disciples planting seed, watering seed, and allowing God to give the increase. And that we are fellow workers, and those that are in our daily lives at work, in our friendships, and within our circles of influence – are God’s building.
So, I must continually count the cost that Christ paid, ensure that my life remains steadfast on God’s foundation, that the building originates from the cornerstone – which is Jesus, and in so doing, along with like minded laborers we build the church, which is the harvest, which is designed to be God’s building!
Suddenly this makes sense! No matter the hardships I face, despite the difficulties that come into my life and surround me like a raging bush fire, I know who I belong to, I am assured that no other foundation can be laid in my life other than that which is laid which is Jesus Christ, and not only is construction on going in my life, but the Lord requires that not only I but for all who acknowledge Him as their savior ought to be earnestly sewing seed, watering, and laboring so much so that God’s building continues to be established, until His glorious return.
I believe often I have complicated my walk with the Lord in trying to achieve much, when sometimes sewing the seed requires me to say nothing, watering the seed in doing little, but allowing God to give the growth and increase through our lives by living according to His word, and being reminded of the price that was paid, and the foundation we have been established upon, knowing too that we are fellow workers and not alone!
What a wonderful encouragement this scripture is!