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:


Yes Mandie, He makes all things new:)

Good to hear your voice Mandie! There is nothing I am capable of doing in this discipleship equation ... ITS ALL HIM


My husband and I have been praying this verse from Ezekial for someone in our lives, for over 2 years. And we are just now beginning to see evidence of fruit...a heart of stone being changed before our eyes into a heart of flesh is certainly nothing shy of a holy-remaking!! Whether His Spirit dwells in us at age 5 or 45, it is His ability not my responsibility that makes for he best story to tell!

PS... Thank you Mandie for your investment in His Word and us today, and every day.

Yes, amen. Thank you Jodie. Your prayer of this verse inspires me to pray it for two people in my life.

Have you heard the old saying...."You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink?"

This is what I thought of when I read today's question. Discipling is like this. I can love on people, be there for them, tell them what Jesus has done for my "messiness" but the end result may not be what I want it to be. I can lead someone to Christ, however I cannot force them to accept Jesus.

I have to get out of my head that I've failed and the end result wasn't what I expected it to be. As long as I can stay true to the two greatest commandments then I have to accept that the Holy Spirit CAN and WILL DO the rest and there lies within, the Final Result!!

I may have to change how I am interacting with that horse! I think you and I relate on this sweet friend!

such a good post Tonia. and your leading a horse to water is such a good example of discipleship. we have to remember we are just God's assistants...He is in charge. you are so good.

When Lindsey talked about the friend yelling at her to run faster I felt like this was me in discipleship. I'm the person that likes to try and motivate in that way. I struggle with "getting onto" people instead of just being there with them and for them. I struggle with listening well to what is actually being said because I want to have the perfect thing to say back to that person. But I know from experience that this way is not good or productive. It's enslaving. Reminding myself of God being the source of where true disciples are made and changed helps me to live in freedom to just enjoy getting to know someone and befriend them in their different stages in life. It allows me to have times where I do give biblical incite but to also not have to say anything at all. I think of it like Jesus approaching me verses a Pharisee. A Pharisee would be hounding me with all the things I need to get right and in their self-righteousness totally miss the person. Jesus would come and wash my feet. I want to serve others as Jesus has so lovingly and graciously served me.

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