Sometimes God still surprises me. You? Does he still surprise you, too?

I’ve been working really hard at a few things lately and seeing small outcomes. Instead of getting upset at the results I’ve been trying to release them into God’s hands. God’s work, God’s plans, God’s outcomes, I tell myself.

Doesn’t that sound really holy of me? Like perhaps I should have my head turned into a marble statue and placed prominently in Christian colleges worldwide?

Don’t worry. It’s 100% less holy than it could be, because I spend equal amounts of time trying to pluck my eyeballs from my face because I’m so frustrated at the lack of results.

In small group we’ve been working through Francis Chan’s study Forgotten God, and these verses in Zechariah were highlighted last week:

Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!’

Then another message came to me from the Lord: “Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (Zechariah 4: 6-10, NLT. Click here to read it on bible

I’ve had to sit with this passage for an entire week, just reading it over and over again. Zerubbabel had been given a big assignment, one that required his actual work and involvement.

But it wasn’t his work or strength that was really going to accomplish anything, it was the Spirit. It’s the Spirit that makes mountainous challenges level before us.

Not us, the Spirit.

I’ve asked God to give me peace with the results from my efforts, and I’ve asked him for this countless times. It really is a never-ending battle I’m waging here.

And then today I got an email with an amazing and exciting offer to be part something fun, something far better than the results I could have hoped for. I haven’t had a chance to confirm the details yet, but I do know this– God is working out his own plan and outcomes in his own time.

I’ll let you know the news when I have more information, but I leave you with this encouragement today– It’s not by our force, but by God’s Spirit!

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7 Comments on It’s Not All Up to Us (just in case you need a reminder)

  1. cherifields
    November 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm (2 years ago)

    That’s great! Now for the courage to say this before the serendipity comes in. But many times we have to be fast as well as bold, because often it seems like God waits just long enough for us to really get it before taking things in hand. 🙂

  2. Jessie Clemence
    November 23, 2015 at 4:54 pm (2 years ago)

    I’ve spent endless hours this week thinking of that balance between our part and God’s part. Of course nothing’s going to happen if we don’t DO SOMETHING. And yet, it’s not like mowing the lawn with instantaneous results. It’s not concrete and it’s nearly impossible to tell where our efforts end and God’s begin. Is it mostly God? Mostly us? Half and half? Argh!!

  3. Rachel Quigley
    November 23, 2015 at 5:55 pm (2 years ago)

    I read Forgotten God a few years ago. What a challenging and thought-provoking book. I agree with you… I am sometimes good at letting God handle things and then I’m all over it again trying to get it done in my own power and strength. It’s so good to be reminded that it is by Him that all things work together. Thank you for this reminder!

    November 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm (2 years ago)

    I pray everyday that I can accept things as they are knowing that it’s G-d’s will. It’s a struggle when I feel as if things should be going differently. I think if it weren’t a struggle then the reward wouldn’t be as meaningful.

  5. cherifields
    November 23, 2015 at 6:23 pm (2 years ago)

    Mowing the lawn isn’t the right analogy, planting seeds is much closer. It can be weeks of patient work before you see the first seedlings come up, and months from then until harvest.
    As with a good marriage, it isn’t a 50/50 deal, it’s much more like 100/sideways 8 . Just God lets us pour ourselves in first, which is scary. But he does help us sleep deeply even at the beginning. 😀

  6. Jessie Clemence
    November 23, 2015 at 7:34 pm (2 years ago)

    You are welcome!