November 18, 2016
Outcomes and Offerings
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Isn’t it something how we may think we understand a certain truth or concept and then God drives it deeper into our souls? He is profoundly wise in the way that He teaches us the secrets of the Kingdom. He unveils truth to the degree that we’re ready to receive it, believe it, and walk in it.
I’ve recently begun to understand—on a deeper level—that though God cares about my choices, He does not owe me the outcome that I expect to result from my choices. Plain and simple, He is my master. He decides how my life will go. My efforts (in every area of life) are an offering to the Lord. They’re not a factor in an equation that guarantees a certain outcome.
Whatever we do, we must do it as unto God, trusting Him to take our offering and multiply it according to the need of the moment and according to His perfect will in His perfect time. Outcomes are in His hands.
People (including our children, spouses, friends, bosses, etc.), have a free will to choose as they will. And God, in His sovereignty works all things together for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (see Romans 8:28).
Once the offering (of raising our kids, loving our spouses, serving our bosses, etc.) leaves our hands, we must remember that we cannot control the outcome. But we can rest and trust knowing that God treasures every seed we sow, every offering we bring, and every prayer that we pray.
When we even begin to think that our efforts guarantee a certain outcome in the lives of others, we put ourselves above God, for even He does not exert His will in another’s life without their invitation.
If we view our efforts as a foolproof method or formula, we may become impossibly prideful and even judgmental. For example, if we apply certain parenting principles while raising our children, and none of them go off the deep end, we’ll tend to attribute their success to our investment. We’ll wonder why others don’t just do the formula. The truth is, even our most sincere efforts fall painfully short without the Holy Spirit’s involvement in our lives.
Our whole lives are an offering. Our choices do matter. And it’s true that what we sow, we grow. But must not discount other’s free will or even the mystery and sovereignty of God. We love our kids, for the glory of God. We bless our husbands, for the glory of God. We respect our bosses for the glory of God.
If we attach an expectation to our efforts, we begin to see God as a means to an end. When in truth, He owes us nothing. But He’s offered us everything.
Please hear me clearly: it matters that we apply godly principles to raising our children. It matters that we honor the authority in our lives and that we love and respect our spouses. But if we tie a string from our efforts to the outcome we expect, we’ll either experience disappointment or we’ll take the credit for something God deserves the glory for.
I’m convinced that if we view our whole lives as an offering to God, and we trust Him to do what only He can do, we’ll actually be surprised by His divine involvement in our lives. With a humble heart and open hands, we’ll lift our arms in praise, knowing and proclaiming that every good gift comes from above.
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession(James 1:16-18, NLT).
Father in Heaven, I humble myself before You with open hands and an expectant heart. You know the desires of my heart. You know the seeds I’ve sown. I pray You’ll move and multiply in the way that only You can. Take my offering and turn it into a miracle! But in the meantime, I bow low, I open my hands, and I trust that You are God of the harvest. You will perfect that which concerns me. You will make something beautiful of me and of my story. I love You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
In what ways have you sown seeds but not yet seen the harvest? (i.e. children, marriage, finances, your calling)
Faith calls for engagement and surrender calls for release; and yet we’re called to both of these simultaneously. Write out a prayer of engaged faith, and wholehearted surrender.
More from the Girlfriends
Be sure to check out Susie’s book on how to revolutionize your prayer life: Your Powerful Prayers: Reaching the Heart of God With a Bold and Humble Faith and visit her website at www.susielarson.com.
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