How to Deal with Inadequacy

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Here, on the highest slope near Nazareth stands the unfinished edifice. The townspeople below are drawn here by some unknown magnetism. Boys come to play on the slab of rock, dueling with broken planks among the unused stones. The elderly come to ponder, tugged here to reminisce on loss, while the sun sets over the valley. Everyone else simply comes to gossip, “I knew this guy. He started but couldn’t finish.

A few years prior, the site promised the fulfillment of a lifelong vision. The dreamer touted it would be the most massive structure for miles and planned to move his family there upon its completion. He despised common materials of mud and thatch, gloating that this prototype called for only the best, foreign limestone. He even imported the architect, announcing him as “a well-known builder from a city quadruple the size of backwater Nazareth.”  

A man of quick transactions, the landowner applied his merchant-knowledge to carrying out the construction. With the materials secured and workman hired, the project started briskly, and the foundation laid. But, sometime after laying the infrastructure, his funds dried up

Grand plans for a personal aqueduct changed in favor of a common well. Then, his wife’s beloved indoor oven had to be scrapped for an ordinary outdoor fire pit. In time, unskilled laborers replaced the masons. Later, these too were laid off. Almost as quickly as work began, it ground to a standstill. He hadn’t calculated the cost (Luke 14:28-30).


When believers in China share the gospel, they stress the cost of coming to Christ. “Professing Christ may mean rejection by your family,” they explain. “It may mean a loss of livelihood or persecution by governmental officials. It could even result in imprisonment. Do you still want to believe?” Those who say yes are those who truly become His disciples (Luke 14:27). 

Oh, to be people of follow-through. We “have need of endurance” (Hebrews 10:36), but have so little stamina under fire. We testify Jesus as Lord, but whither quickly when the going gets difficult. Maybe we haven’t calculated the cost. 

We expect our God to fulfill every promise He makes, but reciprocate little. May we take Moses’ words to heart and “do what (we) have promised” (Numbers 32:24). God expects us to “pay what (we) vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5). If we are serious about our commitment to Him, it’s time to “calculate the cost to see if we have enough to complete it” (Luke 14:28).

May we take Moses' words to heart and do what we have promised Click To Tweet

The good news is that, as His child, we do have enough to endure to the end. After we choose Christ, it’s God’s responsibility to lead us in His Way. What we can’t do, God had already accomplished (Romans 8:4). It doesn’t depend on our willing or doing, but on “God Who has mercy” (Romans 9:16). By His doing we’ve been put into Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30) and once we have the Life, we have enough to fulfill the vow. When we are afraid to carry on, we can remember that no matter the cost, He is enough to cover the charges. Hallelujah. 

God is in charge of my spiritual walk, not me Click To Tweet

Father, thank You for not only granting me Life, but for living that Life in me (Galatians 2:20). As I calculate my inadequacy, I faith You as the gap-filling God (2 Corinthians 3:5). Yours is not a ministry of condemnation for my deficiency, but of glory and hope in Yours (2 Corinthians 3:9). As I calculate the cost of this Life, teach me to faith past my inferiority to rely on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”