Continued from here.
A big lesson that God has been teaching me is that I am responsible for obedience while He is responsible for the outcome. This means that I cannot take credit when whatever I do is wildly successful, nor should I beat myself up if I don’t see any harvest from my labors. The outcome of whatever God leads me to do is 100% under His control.
This is not an easy concept for me to process. As a recovering control freak, I am very attuned to the ways in which my actions result in particular outcomes. I am a planner by nature. I like to know what the goal is and then come up with a plan to meet that goal. I am very outcome-oriented by nature. So, when God tells me to do something, regardless of the outcome, I’m being led outside of my comfort zone.
I wonder if one reason God has me investing lots of time and energy into projects that, at least for now, have not reaped many dividends is to teach me faith. He also might be teaching me humility so that if/when He changes the outcome, I’ll know that He caused those results rather than me.
One lesson I have been learning over the last few years is that people love a hero. They see successes in someone’s life and assume that success came because of that person’s efforts and talents. However, God is the hero, not me, so perhaps keeping me unsuccessful (by the world’s standards) at this time is one way to ensure that He will get the glory whenever He brings in the harvest.
God has brought about several successes in my personal life over the past few years, which I have previously blogged about. This includes enabling me to forgive my child abusers, healing my marriage, and healing my eating disorder. People will sometimes comment upon what a “good person” I am, and I am always quick to respond with, “I am not a good person; I have a good God.” I know that I am not responsible for the positive outcomes in my personal life – that’s all God.
So, perhaps He is doing the same thing with my ministry aspirations. Perhaps He is making sure I trust Him with the outcome so that I always know that He … and not my own efforts … is responsible for whatever success He brings in the future. In the meantime, I’ll obediently follow His lead and resist the temptation to judge the outcome. That’s not in my job description – it’s all up to God.
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace writing “#Goals.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]