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

Very well written, speaks to my heart. I am in a season of parenting young adults who love God, but need growth in living for God as they make life choices. Yes! God used this today to remind me of His great power, and my daily need to surrender and trust. Thanks Lauren

I really love this--- the comparison of being a Pharisee vs Jesus-like. Perfect

How do we find the balance of not yelling at them to run faster as opposed to continue to allow them to use you and your time as they continue to repeat the same behavior and lifestyle and have no change in their lives? I have a tendency to get frustrated when there is no change and no willingness to change but they just sap your energy and every spare minute. I don't do well with that either.

Beautiful!

Our thoughts were similar this morning, Lauren. In my post, I quoted "Responsibility is our response to God's ability"...I too struggle with wanting to say the perfect thing -- but I am learning how to *really* respond, slowly but surely... // Thank you for sharing.

This is actually a response to Ann's comment in this thread - Jo Saxton addressed this situation in one of the videos. She recommended asking them what they think God is saying to them in the unchangingness of their situation, and to keep pointing them back to Jesus. And to pray. All we can do, really. We can't make anyone want to change.

There was one friend who I made myself available to as she went through a rough season. One night I sat and listened to her cry for six hours. I thought things were good until the next day. I got a phone call that she attempted suicide. I was so angry at her, at God, and at myself. My anger was ugly but I muddled through it. I had taken her suicide attempt as a sign that it's not worth the time to put into building relationships. God was showing me different. It is worth the time but I am not in control of another person's emotions. That lesson has been invaluable to me. As for my friend, she asked me to be her daughter's godmother. We are still in contact twenty some years later.

Wow. We are so not in control. When will this stick with me? Thank you for sharing is painful moment. I'm sorry this had to happen.

Wow amazing example and testimony

Thank you for sharing this story. The fact that you didn't walk away after that & after feeling inadequate and that you were blessed with 20 more years of friendship is a good reminder to not give up.

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