The Lord gave me a phrase today, while meeting with a friend of mine for discipleship: “The enemy magnifies the perceived cost and minimizes the true cost.”
My friend asked me to expound on this phrase, and this is what God gave to me:
The ‘perceived cost‘ is what we *think* something will cost us. It’s part of the “mental calculations” that we perform when we’re trying to decide if we’re going to do something or not, i.e.; if we’re going to change a behavior, or kick a habit or make some kind of change/choice.
The ‘true cost‘ is what we *actually* experience (consequence) as a result of an action/choice/behavior. This is what it actually costs us to stay in the existing behavior pattern.
So to use a very simple, hypothetical math example, let’s say that we want to change a behavior in our life. We’ll call the behavior ‘XYZ’ for the purpose of this example.
We then pull out a piece of paper, real or mental (we just do this in our mind), and we calculate:
– It will cost us 500 of n units to change,
– But it really only costs us 20 of n units to continue in this XYZ behavior pattern,
So what’s the conclusion (result) of the above calculations? It’s not worth the cost to me to change this XYZ behavior pattern, so I guess I’ll just keep doing it the way I always have…
HOWEVER, what the enemy is doing is to greatly magnify (or multiply) the ‘perceived cost’ of the change, because in the Word of God, He tells us that we can do all things through Christ who empowers us from within! And many other promises, indicating that HE has paid the cost for us!!
So, in God’s reality, using the above example:
– It will only cost us 5 of n units to change!
The Word of God also indicates that ALL sin leads to death, and following the ways of the world will lead to our demise, etc. etc., so…
In God’s reality, using the above example again, we see:
– It will TRULY cost us EVERYTHING to continue in this XYZ behavior pattern!
When we see it from God’s view, we realize that the ‘perceived’ cost to us is actually very little compared to the true cost of not changing! This is why the enemy reverses it, so we will not want to change, and continue in our behaviors that will ultimately lead us to our demise!!
Jesus talked about this in Luke 14: 15-33
Luke 14:15-33 (KJV) And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
So, when tempted to think that it’s not worth it to change our un-Godly behavior, go to the LORD, read His Word and ask Him for eyes to see so you can ‘calculate’ correctly and make the choice that will honor God and save your life!
God bless you as you count the costs using God’s calculations…