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:


Oh I RELATE! I sound better on paper! I would ALWAYS rather write it to someone! You know what's funny when you texted me and said lets talk by phone... My initial quick response is "ugh".... I am better by pen! Lol. But I so want to meet you that I put the thought away! ;)

Michelle, goodness me...I'm smiling. It was out of my comfort zone to even suggest a phone conversation -- so obviously we are both growing in grace ;-))

I love being here with you ladies. Even though I don't post often :-) I get so much from reading what you all post. Think of the way that as a group we are disciplining each other!

My biggest struggle with results is feeling that I should have done it differently - said this other thing - not said that thing. I take on too much responsibility and forget that it is God doing the work with my little fish and loaves. I am not God's only resource in this person's life. It doesn't all rest on me. And honestly, it makes me sad that at times I am more worried about offending people with the name of Jesus than I am worried about honoring Him.

Because I am an "all in" person I want everyone to be an all in person. It can be discouraging. I need to remember I am not in charge, He is. It is His responsibility to make heart change. If I focus on that then I am not disappointed with results. But in all honesty that is a hard focus to keep. I want results and I want them now for everyone but myself. For me, I want the time to digest, ruminate, and then change. So glad there is grace cuz I really need it.

So true!!!

Amen amen amen sister!!!! I am feel in' ya!!

You said what I feel in my relationships with others. I set the expectations too high and when folks don't meet then I find myself disappointed. I'm learning with God's grace to let go of this expectations and try to accept others where they are. I say "learning" and "try" because I am not there yet!

My funny daughter has compared my rather intense personality to a light source. At first, people are all like, oh, this is so warm! So bright! Then after it sinks in that I have ultra-high expectations, they're all like, OW!!!! Get this off me!!! It's burning me!!! As my light source is concentrated they the lens of my expectations to be like sunbeams thru a magnifying glass. So, yeah, Sammie, I hear you! XO

I have this personality, too. It helps me to moderate my expectations when I remember that even the disciples weren't "all in" all the time, and they walked around with Jesus, night and day, for 3 years! Even beyond the betrayal, denial, abandonment around the crucifixion, Scripture says in the presence of the risen Christ, "some doubted"! Paul had an overwhelming experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus, but went on to lose his temper and his patience with John Mark, so much so that it broke up his partnership with Barnabas. Peter had an overwhelming powerful vision from God about including the Gentiles, yet later withdrew from fellowship with the Gentiles until rebuked by Paul. Timothy was timid. Yet ALL of them were mightily used by God. If He did it then, He can do it now, and He doesn't need anyone to fit our expectations! What a freeing truth!

I hear you too! Even as I wonder why people don't commit to our IF:Table once a month. It keeps me counting on God for attendance & planning. My flesh does not like it. Another area for me to surrender. Some more.

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