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:


Thank you, Heather.
The part of the quote that really stood out to me is: "to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, surrounded by sordid sinners. That is not learned in five minutes."
This is our walk as believers, in our day-to-day lives. This is what Jennie is teaching in her online study on Daniel - being holy, humble and bold, following Jesus faithfully in a pagan culture.
It's easy - well, easier! - to be holy in a Christian culture, surrounded by other believers. But that is not the world we live in. And for sure we can't learn this in five minutes!

I love what Lindsey said about people learning by watching us navigate our messes. It reminds me that being vulnerable and sharing my weaknesses in a relationship creates space for God to be highlighted and for Him to be strong. I have shared that I struggle with a "fix it" mentality, so I can tend to focus on the other person and helping them navigate their issues. But this will not make them stronger Christians. When I share how I use my faith in my weak spots I am helping to make sure the other person primarily attaches to God, the true Fixer, and not me.


I have that tendency as well. Don't tell me something needs fixed or done, then do nothing about it. I am task oriented. But I am learning to let go of the control. thanks

I really liked that too!!

Yes, same here Tara! I love what Ann V. said the other day, as it relates to Jesus in all this struggle...He gets the last word, and it's beauty, not ashes. // And that helps me breathe a big sigh of relief :-)

Yes, so true. It's important to help others depend on God and not on us .

I too can become frustrated with where someone is at and feeling they somehow should be further. Once again I have to remind myself that timeline really has nothing to do with a person's walk with Christ. Some things just aren't measurable and thank goodness God is the only one that knows for sure! Only God knows the heart of man. Let me make sure I'm continually walking in the Spirit and walking in the Word. May I walk with others with grace and humility remembering from where I first came.

I'm not sure I struggle with results. I struggle with doing the work - reaching out to people- making new friends doesn't come easy to me. I struggle more with the "people don't like me" syndrome. Which is really silly I know, I just can't seem to shake it. But by God's power and grace I will rest in Him and overcome this personality trait a little more each day. I do pray about it and I do want to see others develop a friendship with God.

I often feel the same. This study has helped me see the importance of one-on-one relationship. It's not necessary to have a large group. I feel more comfortable with that rather than navigating a large group or lots of people.

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