We get all got up with the results of our obedience to God. God cares little for the end result.
For God, the process IS the end.
We keep thinking that our obedience is supposed to lead somewhere specific. When it doesn’t, we question the whole thing. It’s not that he doesn’t answer our specific prayers because he does. But almost always it’s more about the process, the process of our own growth.
We keep thinking that obedience to God means there will be some sort of something we call success at the end. That is categorically untrue. In fact, I would go so far as to say that often our obedience seems to end in failure.
Last week I was obedient about something and it felt like I walked right into a trap. You can read about it here. I felt a little bruised for a few hours. I thought I had completely messed up. But God saw my obedience. He saw success while I licked my wounds. Later I knew, of course, that it had always been about the process and not the result.
Jesus was fully compliant to his father’s will and yet he was crucified. But for three days every single person who witnessed that event saw it as a failure on Jesus’s part. A failure to bring the kingdom of God to earth.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, even Jesus questioned. What do you think those sweat drops of blood were all about?
I love what Oswald Chambers says:
“What we call the process, God calls the end.”And later he writes: “God’s end is to enable me to see that he can walk on the chaos of my life just now”.
When we are in the midst the problem, it’s hard to convince ourselves it’s the process that God is looking at. We hurt so much. We are confused and frightened. We can’t possibly imagine a good outcome. And let’s face it, sometimes the outcome isn’t good. People die. People lose jobs. Relationships end.
I wish obedience always ended up in something we call success. But if you were faithful, God did call it a success.
God bless and have a good day.