The Struggle With Results | IF:Gathering

The Struggle With Results

It feels weird to talk about results when discussing discipleship because it’s difficult to identify the “right” outcome of discipleship. Of course, the end goal of discipleship is to make disciples, and we must always keep this goal at the forefront. However, it is difficult to say that making disciples can only look one way. Discipleship takes on many forms because every person and relationship is different; each person’s journey with God is unique. For instance, God might use you along with many others to influence one person for Christ.

In the end, God is the one who does the work. He is the one who changes hearts. Therefore, we don’t have to get caught up in the results. Our job is to wholeheartedly give our lives to Christ and allow Him to do His work through us.

Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit makes disciples. We must rely on His transformative power, as He is the one who changes hearts. Through the prophet Ezekiel (36:26–27), God promised new spiritual life: “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” John 16:8 says that the Holy Spirit is the one who “convicts the world of sin and righteousness.” Matthew 10:19–20 says that the Spirit speaks through us as we make disciples. And the apostle Paul said this about His words: “my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4–5). Our words don’t have to be perfect, because one’s faith does not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Let these truths relieve any burden you might feel about discipleship. Make the effort, but remember that God is the one who changes hearts. This truth keeps us from being consumed by the results of discipleship; God is in control of the results. These truths also keep us humble as we remember that the transformative work of God is always the “how” in making disciples.

Now What?
As we remember God’s call, may we go and make disciples. As we go and make disciples, may we remember that the methods of discipleship vary but the message of the gospel stays the same. Think about the community and culture God has placed you in. How do the people in your life need to experience the gospel? Do discipleship in a way that meets the needs of those around you.

Finally, as you go and make disciples remember this: “It is not better methods (we need), but better men and women who know their Redeemer from personal experience—men and women who see His vision and feel His passion for the world—men and women who are willing to be nothing so that He might be everything—men and women who want only for Christ to produce His life in and through them, according to His own good pleasure.”

Watch a captioned version of today's video here: https://vimeo.com/179798411

Comments

I get caught up in how I think discipleship should look or feel instead of focusing on obediently loving the people in front of me and teaching Truth. I need reminders that God is accomplishing His work & growing His Kingdom!

I have struggled when dealing with the results of discipleship by thinking I have to be an expert and use a particular program or method in order to create a disciple. Being free from that frame of mind has created so much more room and opportunities to simply be alongside others - the preschoolers I teach, my family at home, etc - and disciple in a natural way. I'm trusting God to bring me into the relationships that need to deepen and widen in Him, but while I wait, can let His love and care overflow onto any one in my path.

"disciple in a natural way"...love that...keeping it real.

I so struggle with this. It terrifies me to go out and make disciples. I fear rejection. I worry about the words I am suppose to speak. I read the verse from Matthew and was like wow that just spoke to me. I feel like I am suppose to be perfect in doing that. I worry about offending others. I don't want to be disobedient.

Tiffanie, I hear you! I challenge you in this, God has NOT given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self-discipline. He asks you to come to Him as a loving Father with that fear and learn first to trust His strength and enabling above your own. Remember too that no one is rejecting you as you attempt to reach out in love, they are rejecting Jesus and His gift. Begin to faithfully spend time with Him each day praying for His guidance on WHO to begin with, and do NOT give way to fear. The enemy doesn't want us tone effective in sharing Christ's love, he wants us to stay afraid and silent. Keep moving forward, sweet sister!!!

Good words, Becky. Praying for you Tiffanie to rest in Him and just follow where and to whom He leads you.

My struggle is with the time it takes to see any amount of change. I feel defeated sometimes even if it's a close relationship. I feel like my words are just gonging cymbals or I'm the teacher in the Peanuts cartoon. Or better yet, I'm the teacher in Ferris Bueller, standing there saying "Bueller? Bueller?" But today's devo about The Holy Spirit giving us the words to speak was exactly what I needed to read!

I struggle with the back-and-forth results. Seeing someone work through an area with Jesus and experience His strength and then when the next big life-issue hits, they respond out of the flesh again. It's watching someone who has experienced His provision and grace suddenly turn back & not trust in and use the full potential God has in them because they trust their own abilities more-- The frustration that I feel in those experiences is maddening. It's the place that I then want to walk away because I feel useless and wasteful with my time.

I am sure that's how God feels about me as well!

This is a daily struggle for me b/c my primary role as discipler is to two little ones, ages 4 and 1. Talk about not seeing results!!! And so I feel burnt out and weary. Yet I know scripture calls me not to "grow weary in doing good" because a harvest will come. I would love to be more intentional in discipleship with other relationships but at this stage in life it feels like I barely have the bandwidth to carry out my roles as mom and wife...anything else I can accomplish is purely bonus. I know it's just a season but my heart does long to invest in other ways and other relationships...not discrediting how vital and high and holy my calling to be a mom to my children is! It's a privilege for sure, but burn out is real. I am praying for renewed energy and for the Holy Spirit to equip me to parent my two littles as He would have me do. And that I might be able to find another niche outside of motherhood where discipleship can realistically happen without draining my already low reserves.

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