This morning, I was emailing back and forth with a friend about some current struggles in my life. Nothing serious, so don't worry, but stuff that needs dealing with.
I shared with her how I try to do the things I feel God has told me to do, but when the results don't seem to be coming I get frustrated and discouraged. I tell myself, "Why bother? Just give up."
Maybe it's not really me saying those words. They sound a lot more like lies from the enemy of my soul. (Hang on while I ponder this light bulb moment.)
Anyway, she wrote some words that I needed to hear:
God can use your obedience better when you obey and stay out of His way.
Obey. Then get out of the way.
Simple yet profound. Another light bulb moment in my day. Her words remind me of the words of one of my mentors, Shannon Ethridge (Author, Speaker, Life Coach, and BLAST mentor)...
Your job is obedience. God's job is results.
I keep getting hung up on results. I see that I don't have any more speaking engagements this year than I had last year, and I feel discouraged. I see that, in spite of a lot of effort with our kids, they still prefer to bicker almost constantly, and I feel frustrated. I see my credit card balance going down, down, down, then back up again, and I feel trapped. I see the number on the scale creep down by 6 lbs only to go back up by 8, and I feel defeated.
The problem with thinking this way is that anything that can be viewed as failure results in feeling discouraged, frustrated, trapped and defeated.
How I needed the reminder today that God is not an all-or-nothing God. He doesn't say, "Give me perfection or just give up." No, He just wants me to keep moving forward in faith. Trusting His promises, obeying His commands, and waiting on Him for the results.
Obey, then get out of the way, so He can do His job.
Sometimes the fruit of that obedience may result in internal change, or have impact for someone else I'll never know about. Those times when He chooses to let me experience successful results in a tangible way are a gift.
My success or failure is not defined by the tangible results. If I obey my Father, that is success.
Maybe some of you are experiencing a similar struggle right now, where you keep on doing what you feel Him asking you to do, but it just doesn't seem to be making a difference. Might I allow my friend's words to encourage you today?
Then get out of the way.
Your job is obedience.
God's job is results.