Thursday, June 30, 2011

Obedient vs. Obligated

As I work on the plan for my ministry project and get ready to take action I am trying to remain aware of the difference between being obedient to God's leading and feeling obligated to an outcome of my own anticipation.
Do you know what I mean?

Have you ever felt God leading you to take a specific action, speak to someone about him, reach out to someone, only to have it backfire on you? They rejected your advice, laughed at your faith, didn't make a remarkable change like they 'should' have? Maybe it wasn't a total disaster, it just wasn't a rousing success. Less than remarkable.

I find that very often when I start out to do something I have a very specific end or goal in mind. That, in itself, is not a bad thing. If you don't have a plan or goal you just tend to wander aimlessly, and very often, uselessly and ineffectively. The problem comes when I forget that God may have a completely different outcome in mind. I may see success as having a certain number of people attend, sign up, read my blog, give money...whatever...God may simply want to know if I will be obedient enough to trust him and act.

I need to remember that God sees the big picture - and my part in his grand plan. Do I have goals for my project, standards for a measure of success? Yes, and I'll be writing about those soon. Will it be difficult and disappointing if things don't work out as I'm planning? Yep. Will I be quick to try to see the hand of God in whatever happens? I sure hope so!

Please, Lord, let me remember your words, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  Isaiah 55: 8-9.

Do you sometimes become a slave to anticipated outcomes? Do you miss the working of the hand of God because you are fixed on one particular result? How do you keep your perspective and trust the heart of God even when you can't trace the hand of God?

How will I do? We'll find out soon. Stay tuned.

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