I often wonder if I’m tragically destined to beat my head against one wall after another. It just seems like I often find myself compelled to beat a drum that no one really wants to hear. It’s a frustrating way to live, but the alternative feels like disobedience or faithlessness or maybe even rejecting the God who made me & telling Him I know better than He does.
I found a great reminder reading Perry Noble’s post today – Why I Am Frustrated. He lists some conditions that lead to frustration, and the fourth one is “Not Realizing That Zechariah 4:6 is True!!!” He writes that,
“So many times I will work myself into a frenzy thinking that ministry results are up to me (which is SO dangerous because it either always leads to pride or depression!) God said it’s not up to me…but up to HIM!!! This means I am called to do my very best…and then know that HE is going to bring about HIS fruit in HIS time!!!”
The city of Jerusalem wasn’t rebuilt because a couple guys became great leaders and were able to rally the people to complete the project. It was rebuilt because the Spirit of God was moving to have it rebuilt. I desperately need to remember that the results of my ministry are not up to me.
I’ve always been wary of becoming prideful at the work God has done around me. I’m careful to remember that it’s Him who’s doing the real work on people’s hearts when I see things going well. I can’t really think of a time where I pridefully took credit for what God did (thankfully)… But I haven’t done as well at knowing that forgetting the fact that “it’s all Him” can lead me into depression when things aren’t going as well. It’s easy for me to become frustrated at the change that isn’t happening (or isn’t happening fast enough) and get into a funk that spirals downward, robbing me of the hope that anything will ever change at all.
God is in the business of transformation, and I LOVE to see that happening in people and churches and communities. I love to be a small part of God’s transforming work. I just need to remember that the results are up to Him.
When I start thinking too much about the lack of outcomes or the perceived slowness of transformation, I can get so dejected that I fail to do my part. “It’s not working anyway… why bother… someone else is going to just undo whatever good this great idea/sermon/song/event is going to do… it’s not worth the effort…” These lies sap the strength from our efforts to do our part. They keep us (or maybe it’s just me) focused on what WE are NOT accomplishing instead of what God CAN do.
May I see again what God can do…
May I simply do my part…
Even if that feels like beating my head against a wall.