"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower ...'" (Luke 14:28)

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, 'This person began to build and wasn't able to finish.'" (Luke 14:28)

What does building a tower mean?

Jesus is continuing his discussion about devotion and commitment to his teachings. He had just said (translated appropriately):
"And whoever does not pull up stakes and follow me cannot be my follower." (Luke 14:27)
The analogy of building a tower is critical to becoming a true follower of Jesus because this requires a particular type of foundation. What is that foundation that Jesus is speaking of? It is commitment and dedication.

Only through commitment and dedication will a person have the where-with-all to complete the task of perfecting our spiritual life. Without commitment and dedication, the result will not be there. 

Put in more general terms: Initially if a person does not commit themselves to their search for their identity, and their search for their relationship with God, the result will not be there. Why?

Furthermore, Jesus is confirming that if someone does not commit themselves to following him, then they will not have the desired result of loving and serving God. Why?

What does God want from us?

First of all, the Supreme Being is a person. He is not a void, or an impersonal white light. He is a person - someone we can have a relationship with - if we want. And Jesus is offering to introduce his followers to this Supreme Person.

Ultimately the Supreme Being wants us back, but He doesn't want a sketchy, careless relationship with us. He only wants those who are committed to a relationship with Him.

Just consider how we might feel if we had a boyfriend or girlfriend who wasn't committed to a relationship with us. Or even a spouse. Who would want such a relationship? If the boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse wasn't committed to the relationship then most people would just want to forget about having a serious relationship with that person.

Yes, the term "serious relationship" is the point when we are speaking of our relationship with God. Is our relationship with God a "serious relationship"?

What is our role?

The fact is, the Supreme Being seriously loves us. His commitment is already there. Everything around us - everything we have and where we are - is because the Supreme Being is satisfying our desires to be away from Him. Yes, He loves us so much that He creates the opportunity for us to be away from Him. He allows us the scenario where we cannot see Him or be with Him.

This is why we are in these temporary physical bodies, away from Him. Because we rejected our relationship with Him in the past, so He gave us the ability to ignore Him and even deny His existence. That is the purpose of the material world and these temporary physical bodies, and the reason we can't see Him - because we decided we didn't want to see Him.

The question is, do we want to return to our relationship with Him? If so, we'd better become serious about it.

Just think of the scenario where we had a boyfriend or girlfriend who decided to break up with us in the past and go "play the field" - and "date around." Then one day out of the blue they call us and want to come back together with us. What will we do?

Certainly, we will want to make sure they are serious. We will want to be sure that they aren't still just "playing the field." This means that we become assured that they aren't also dating someone else while they are dating us, right?

Because if we find they are "dating around" - dating someone else while they want to date us - we will not be very inclined to get back together with them. Why? Because we don't want to fool around with a sketchy, careless relationship again - just to find that they run off again.

These relationship scenarios are universal because relationships are universal. Why? Because ultimately, all relationships stem from the original relationships that exist between the Supreme Being and each of us. Each of us is spiritual in composition - not these material bodies. And each of us has a unique spiritual relationship with the Supreme Being. Regardless of whether we accept it or not.

And if we want to return to that relationship with our Best Friend and Soul Mate we had better be serious about it. Because the Supreme Being doesn't want someone who is also "dating around" - meaning we might worship Him a little and then go out and worship materialism the rest of the time.

Surely, worshiping God a little is better than not worshiping Him at all. Certainly, He sees this and will help guide us, assuming we are at least serious when we do worship Him. But if we are just worshiping Him in order to get some better stuff for our worship of materialism - then we are just offending Him.

However, if we are serious about fully embracing Him and returning to our loving service relationship with Him we had better commit ourselves to Him and His representative.

This is what Jesus is asking of his followers because Jesus is God's representative. If someone becomes committed to the teachings of God's representative - meaning they are following those teachings - they are also committing themselves to a relationship with the Supreme Being.