I have been doing some thinking and wondering. I think God has confirmed my suspensions. About a year ago I was asked to take on a position. It was one I was struggling with and it would be way beyond anything I could do on my own. I felt sure this was a God asking appointment. So I prayed. I was stressing over it so much so I came down with Shingles. It’s been a year and this position has not taken place. Part of the problem is I am waiting on other people to fulfill their requirements before I can get started on this position. I wondered if I heard God wrong.
A few years ago the same thing happened. I was sure I heard God speak and tell me to move out and do something things. I moved out and spoke to some groups. I have not been as successful as I’d like to be; in part because I am not a sales man. I can’t sell myself. I don’t push myself on people. Did I hear God or did I not here him correctly?
Just recently a friend heard from God, left his job to start a new company. His adventure has proved less than successful. He wrote me a note to let me know what happened.
In all of these cases we truly believed we heard from God. As I was sharing with my friend, this came to me: maybe it’s not about being successful, but being obedient. Maybe, God just wants to know we will be obedient in all things at all times, even those times when things don’t turn out. Jeremiah 7:23 from The Message says this, “But I did say this, commanded this: “Obey me. Do what I say and I will be your God and you will be my people. Live the way I tell you. Do what I command so that your lives will go well.” It doesn’t say we will be successes, it says our lives will go well. Even though things haven’t turned out like I thought God had planned for me my life is well. I have no complaints.
In fact, a new position has opened up for me. Again, this is something I can’t handle on my own. It’s a thing that I can only be successful if God is in it. As I look back I think He was preparing me for this position. Maybe, He needed to know whether I would be obedient and follow His calling even though it didn’t pan out; maybe He was preparing me to accept this position.
I am beginning to realize God doesn’t look at our successes; He looks at our obedience to follow Him and do as He has called no matter how it turns out.
The other thing I am learning is I can’t control what people do or don’t do. It’s up to God to move them into action; not me. If God calls me to do something and I accept it, but I have to wait on others to do what I need to do, then it’s not my problem. I have accepted the work God has called me to do; it’s up to the others to do what they must do. It’s not up to me to push, get mad or angry or frustrated. I must leave it in God’s hands. My job is just to be obedient in all things at all times and in all ways.It’s all about God’s timing not mine.
I am learning each time I am obedient it is a stepping stone to something else or a new place. If I fail or am not successful it becomes a learning tool. If things didn’t work out it’s not because I didn’t hear correctly it’s just this is not God’s ultimate plan; maybe it’s just a stepping stone to other things. In Genesis 22 we know God tested Abraham. He called Abraham to take Isaac and sacrifice him. I believe it was simply a test to see if He was willing to be obedient. So, maybe when I hear God’s calling and it doesn’t work out, maybe He’s testing my obedience in all things.
Over the years when things didn’t work out I wondered if I heard God correctly. I would beat myself up because I wasn’t a success at whatever I thought He called me to do or it only lasted a short time and wasn’t lasting. Now God has taught me not to fear the successes or the failures but to just be content in obeying His commands. I must be willing to be obedient and let God worry about the outcome. As long as I am obedient to God’s calling I have nothing to worry about. Once again it’s all about God and not all about me or what I am successful at. It’s simply obedience. I got it God!
Dear God: All these years I worried about hearing you correctly; now I know it’s more about being obedient and following your calling. The results belong to You. I just have to be willing to step out and say yes. You tested Abraham and I believe you test me today. Help me to always be willing to be obedient and not worry about the outcome or the failure of others to do their part. Teach me to be a willing servant today. Amen.