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Date: 04.26.17
God’s Answer for Striving While You Work

whats-the-answer-for-troubled-hearts-1One thing I love about God’s Word is that it’s filled with treasures and one morning I found a jewel. As I read Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians in 2 Thessalonians 1:11, the following phrase grabbed me, “. . . and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by faith.”

I immediately thought about my purpose of sharing God-words through written and spoken communication. I began my calling with faith but later allowed fear and pride to take over. So I tightened my hands on the reigns of my life, and I tried to control outcomes. Instead of trusting God as I worked, I trusted in myself. I forgot that it was my job to act “by faith” but God’s job to fulfill those actions by “his power.”

Indeed, we fulfill all of our “good purposes” by His power, and every act prompted by our faith is fulfilled by God. We take the first step(s) but the fulfillment and completion of those steps belong to Him. The good works assigned to us originated with Him (Ephesians 2:1), and they will be completed by Him. “. . .being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

We get into trouble when we start our purpose or some other good work in faith but we try to “finish” our God-given assignment in the flesh. We push. We press. We demand. We leave God out and try to act independently of Him. All of this leads to panic, but the fruit of the Spirit is peace (Galatians 5:22-23).

During this past season, if I could have had a conversation with God, perhaps He would have said the following words to me:

Am I not the One who started the work in you? Haven’t I caused amazing things to happen to bring you to this place in which you now stand? Why is it that you now feel you must compete this work in your own strength? You must continue to abide in Me. I will give you the resources and the strength you need to complete the works I have prepared for you to finish (2 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 2:10). Your job is to obey Me, to keep your heart free from unbelief and hardening, and to depend on Me. I will do this. It’s My work. I am the Potter; you are the clay.

Isn’t a refreshing reminder that we can trust God to complete the works He has given to us? How will this truth change how you work for Him today?

 

Posted in: Faith

Comments

12 thoughts on “God’s Answer for Striving While You Work

  1. Nice post Shana, hits home with me as a Type A+ personality!!
    I want to be like the ant in Proverbs and work diligently and store away for the winter while always resting in God’s plan for my life!

  2. Shana
    I can relate got so caught up last year in problems with people following processes I can pulled into a deep dark hole. I thought I had to fix and make everything work as I worked sometimes 15 hour days it was all about work issues problem people on and on. The more I worked on the more I tried to fix the further I was from God. To the point today om scared to make any decisions about my (God’s) business for fear I’ll get sacked back in or make poor decisions.

  3. This truth changes everything! Sometimes we just don’t see what we want to see, and we don’t always understand the way things seem to be turning out, but if we keep our eyes on Jesus and continue to trust Him, He will bring to pass all the wonderful things He has for us!

    I am so very thankful for the great work He has done in me, and I look forward with great anticipation for all that He has in store for me in the future. I choose to trust Him and step out in faith each and every day, and I press on to see His blessings!

    1. Amen, Sister! God will get us where we need to go as we trust Him and abide in Him. As we stay close to Him, learning of Him, He will make all good things in our lives come to pass.

      Keep pressing on and looking up!

      Blessings!
      Shana

  4. Shana, What a coincidence, as just last night I found myself having a conversation with Daddy about this very thing. I was panicked! What if someone misunderstood my actions…or lack of communication? I really had to pray and press into my Heavenly Father to calm down. I am once again trusting Him to handle the situation, but to keep me focused on just following His lead, and leaving the outcome in His capable hands! …where it belongs. Thank you, Shan! jp

  5. Here’s the question that I can’t seem to find a peaceful answer to: if God places a calling on your life then you must step out in faith and pursue that calling. You can’t just sit and wait for God to work without actively pursuing the calling. After all, faith is an action word. How much action is too much action that then leads to striving? Just like you, Shana, God gave me a very clear calling to speak and write. I would have never thought in a million years I would pursue either one of those things, but I’m trusting God and taking steps towards that calling. It seems there is a fine line of moving in faith and striving and driving your own life without allowing God to be in the driver’s seat. I’m sure there’s a simple answer to this question, but I’ve yet to find peace to any answer.

    1. Hi, Lori.

      Thanks for reaching out to me. That’s a great question. I totally agree. We are co-laborers with Christ. That means that we don’t just sit around and not do anything. We are called to work. But it is a fine line–and striving, from what I have learned in my past has everything to do with a heart condition and if we are trusting Christ. As we stay close to Him, His Holy Spirit will alert us because we won’t have peace when we start to get into a place of striving. To cease from striving doesn’t mean we stop working; it means that while we work we are resting internally in God.

      Absolutely. I agree with you. “there is a fine line of moving in faith and striving and driving your own life without allowing God to be in the driver’s seat.” When I first started speaking, I wasn’t sure what I should do and what I should wait on Him in faith for. But then I started stepping out in faith. If you have a gift, the Bible says to use it. How we use it is His business. In what arena we use it is His business. How much we use it is His business. What I mean is, especially when it comes to writing and speaking, there are a lot of voices out there that will cause one to get into the flesh. There is a Superstar mentality even among Christians. Not everyone is called to be Beth Moore or Joyce Meyer. If we are called to have a field of that size, He will give it to us. Our job is to work where we have been planted right now and leave the results–and growth–up to Him.

      This may mean you have an idea to speak to a particular group and you don’t have a check that it’s out of the Lord’s will. Then, go for it after you have sought Him in prayer. But be careful not to fill in the blanks of WHAT you think the results will be. You just serve and leave the harvest up to Him. He will promote you to the position He wants you to be in as you work. I hope that helps. I am sure I gave a longer answer than you were looking for, but this is a topic I am passionate about given that I was so wounded by self-promotion and striving.

      Blessings to you!

      Shana

  6. Thank you Shana, for all you do for us!
    Absolutely and totally agree with you. The paragraph about His words to you, seem exactly what He will say to me every day. I need to remember that He is in control, and that I am here to do His will not mine. Thank you for the reminder. God Bless you.

  7. I am the potter, you are the clay. Words I want to repeat to remember. I’ve been reading the ‘Grace Awakening’ and there is a line he has in there on how expectations can be grace killers. Part of letting it be His outcome and not what I ‘think’ it may be. Good post Shana!

    1. Thanks for your great words, Aneah! It can be really difficult working and staying submitted in heart to Christ so we keep our expectations in check, huh? A key is loving Him most regardless of the outcome. And even that comes from Him. But the great news is that if we pray according to His will, that He hears us and we have what we have asked of Him. He wants us to love Him most, which frees us from the pain of unfulfilled expectations.

      Many blessings,
      Shana

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  • Nice post Shana, hits home with me as a Type A+ personality!!
    I want to be like the ant in Proverbs and work diligently and store away for the winter while always resting in God’s plan for my life!

  • Shana
    I can relate got so caught up last year in problems with people following processes I can pulled into a deep dark hole. I thought I had to fix and make everything work as I worked sometimes 15 hour days it was all about work issues problem people on and on. The more I worked on the more I tried to fix the further I was from God. To the point today om scared to make any decisions about my (God’s) business for fear I’ll get sacked back in or make poor decisions.

  • This truth changes everything! Sometimes we just don’t see what we want to see, and we don’t always understand the way things seem to be turning out, but if we keep our eyes on Jesus and continue to trust Him, He will bring to pass all the wonderful things He has for us!

    I am so very thankful for the great work He has done in me, and I look forward with great anticipation for all that He has in store for me in the future. I choose to trust Him and step out in faith each and every day, and I press on to see His blessings!

    • Amen, Sister! God will get us where we need to go as we trust Him and abide in Him. As we stay close to Him, learning of Him, He will make all good things in our lives come to pass.

      Keep pressing on and looking up!

      Blessings!
      Shana

  • Shana, What a coincidence, as just last night I found myself having a conversation with Daddy about this very thing. I was panicked! What if someone misunderstood my actions…or lack of communication? I really had to pray and press into my Heavenly Father to calm down. I am once again trusting Him to handle the situation, but to keep me focused on just following His lead, and leaving the outcome in His capable hands! …where it belongs. Thank you, Shan! jp

  • Here’s the question that I can’t seem to find a peaceful answer to: if God places a calling on your life then you must step out in faith and pursue that calling. You can’t just sit and wait for God to work without actively pursuing the calling. After all, faith is an action word. How much action is too much action that then leads to striving? Just like you, Shana, God gave me a very clear calling to speak and write. I would have never thought in a million years I would pursue either one of those things, but I’m trusting God and taking steps towards that calling. It seems there is a fine line of moving in faith and striving and driving your own life without allowing God to be in the driver’s seat. I’m sure there’s a simple answer to this question, but I’ve yet to find peace to any answer.

    • Hi, Lori.

      Thanks for reaching out to me. That’s a great question. I totally agree. We are co-laborers with Christ. That means that we don’t just sit around and not do anything. We are called to work. But it is a fine line–and striving, from what I have learned in my past has everything to do with a heart condition and if we are trusting Christ. As we stay close to Him, His Holy Spirit will alert us because we won’t have peace when we start to get into a place of striving. To cease from striving doesn’t mean we stop working; it means that while we work we are resting internally in God.

      Absolutely. I agree with you. “there is a fine line of moving in faith and striving and driving your own life without allowing God to be in the driver’s seat.” When I first started speaking, I wasn’t sure what I should do and what I should wait on Him in faith for. But then I started stepping out in faith. If you have a gift, the Bible says to use it. How we use it is His business. In what arena we use it is His business. How much we use it is His business. What I mean is, especially when it comes to writing and speaking, there are a lot of voices out there that will cause one to get into the flesh. There is a Superstar mentality even among Christians. Not everyone is called to be Beth Moore or Joyce Meyer. If we are called to have a field of that size, He will give it to us. Our job is to work where we have been planted right now and leave the results–and growth–up to Him.

      This may mean you have an idea to speak to a particular group and you don’t have a check that it’s out of the Lord’s will. Then, go for it after you have sought Him in prayer. But be careful not to fill in the blanks of WHAT you think the results will be. You just serve and leave the harvest up to Him. He will promote you to the position He wants you to be in as you work. I hope that helps. I am sure I gave a longer answer than you were looking for, but this is a topic I am passionate about given that I was so wounded by self-promotion and striving.

      Blessings to you!

      Shana

  • Thank you Shana, for all you do for us!
    Absolutely and totally agree with you. The paragraph about His words to you, seem exactly what He will say to me every day. I need to remember that He is in control, and that I am here to do His will not mine. Thank you for the reminder. God Bless you.

  • I am the potter, you are the clay. Words I want to repeat to remember. I’ve been reading the ‘Grace Awakening’ and there is a line he has in there on how expectations can be grace killers. Part of letting it be His outcome and not what I ‘think’ it may be. Good post Shana!

    • Thanks for your great words, Aneah! It can be really difficult working and staying submitted in heart to Christ so we keep our expectations in check, huh? A key is loving Him most regardless of the outcome. And even that comes from Him. But the great news is that if we pray according to His will, that He hears us and we have what we have asked of Him. He wants us to love Him most, which frees us from the pain of unfulfilled expectations.

      Many blessings,
      Shana

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