But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” (Acts 23:11)
Notice that God did not say, “Paul, you big loser; no one got saved! You are so useless.” God was pleased with Paul not because of the results, but because he stepped out. God did not say, “Now Paul, I told you not to go to Jerusalem and look what happened!” Instead, God encouraged him. In this ‘results oriented’ world, success is defined by payoff, not by obedience. But God operates on a different economy. God is pleased by obedience. This is great news! You are not responsible for the results. Don’t mistaken this for an excuse for doing shoddy work.
(Romans 12:11) reads, “Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.”
You can wholeheartedly serve God without worrying that the results aren’t meeting His expectations. God is responsible for the results. You are responsible for doing what the Lord has told you to do. Sometimes, God may allow you to see the results of your labors. If He does, thank and praise Him… but be careful not to take the credit. If you serve only to see results, friend, you are going to become discouraged. If you serve because God wants you to, you will be in that place of peace and joy that comes through obedience to God.
“Don’t always look with your eyes to see the effect you are having by serving God.”
Dear Father, Thank You for loving me so much that You allow me to serve You. Please give me the ability and the opportunity to be obedient to You. Please forgive me for the times when I have not. I thank You that the results are in Your almighty hands. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen
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