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.”

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I think we have all been there !!

i can totally relate to this.

No, because I don't know the heart of anyone!! I just pray and act on the leading of the Holy Spirit, and leave it in Gods hands!! A person may seem unaffected, and go and give his heart to the Lord. While another who knows the church lingo, may say all the things you want to hear, and go on clearly sinning and turning his back on God!!! Only the Lord knows what he is doing, so we need to just pray, and be lead of the Spirit of God and then leave it all in his hands, knowing that he will bring it all to pass!!!!

It is so easy to get discouraged when you've invested in someone and then don't see or feel there was much impact. But I think it is crucial to know God is always working and it can be for our benefit to not see "results." It can help us not become prideful and remain abiding in God and sustained by Him alone.

Lindsay nailed it! A big Yes and Amen to all she said!

I had a very wise woman in our church tell me when we were discouraged with our teen son.It's in gods time, not our time.My husband and I had raised our boys in a Christian home and wanted them to love Christ like we do,I wondered if we were doing something wrong.Now when I'm discouraged I say to myself .. .Its in your time lord. I know he has a plan

That is my struggle also. Thanks for sharing.

Totally reminds me of sending our son off to college after a summer of strain & difficulty I had never imagined... Remembering to Relax, Remember, & Share... Present Strokes – orchids and aloe

I can be controlling. I want to be perfect and not show my messiness to others. And so I think people don't always want to be real with me.

I tend to get discouraged when relationships end. I see my weaknesses & wish I had invested more time or energy or try to figure out where I went wrong. I blame myself for not "clicking" with the other person. I dwell on what I wish the outcome had been instead of allowing myself to see the good or to truly trust God. I remove God & his power, might & wisdom from the relationship. I make the results about my own limitations instead of God's limitless power.

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