Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
Spiritual Planning is a topic that gets discussed often in many Christian Churches. As Jesus teaches us, builders in His day would establish a plan before building a tower and kings would strategize prior to a looming battle. In life, we often make plans for business, Family trips and related events/festivities, daily, weekly, and annual schedules, finances, exercising, health, etc. But, if we are really being honest with Jesus, others, and ourselves, how many of us have an actual Spiritual Plan? Even more importantly, how many of us have a Spiritual Plan that they track, update, and continue to develop over the years? The answer is around 1 in 4 Americans (28%-31%) per the Barna Research Group – and that includes both Practicing and non-practicing Christians. The Barna study also showed that only 20% of Christian adults were involved in some form of active Discipleship and only 17% meet regularly with a Spiritual Mentor. Jesus Commands that we put him first – even ahead of our very own Families. If we can’t do that, then Jesus said that we can’t be “His Disciples”. Jesus is asking us for a complete and total surrender to Him. This doesn’t mean that our Families, Friends, and the people and things in this world that we encounter along this journey aren’t important – to the contrary, Jesus also said that the greatest love that we can show is laying down our lives for our Friends (John 15:13). But Jesus must be first in our list of priorities and a Spiritual Plan is a key part of putting Him first and establishing, nurturing, and loving our own “Spiritual Roundtables”. So, if we don’t have a Spiritual Plan, let’s Pray about it and let God help us to develop one and start purposefully, Spiritually expanding our Faith. If we already have a plan, let’s Pray about that, as well, and ask God to help increase our Faith and grow our Plan per His Will. As Laborers for Christ, we must remember that we are not to worry about the rain that brings the harvest (reap) – we are merely to plant (sow) our fields.