Life At Its Best: It's never too late to start doing things God's way
It's easy to commit to an outcome. People commonly commit to losing weight, getting out of debt or getting a promotion. However, committing to the process connected to the outcome is a bit more difficult.
We want to lose weight while keeping poor eating habits, get out of debt without cutting expenses or get promoted while exhibiting the same performance. We seek a new outcome while practicing the same process.
The Bible tells of a rich, young ruler who faced this dilemma. One day, he asked Jesus, "How can I inherit eternal life?"
Jesus replied by reminding him of several of the Ten Commandments. The man assured Jesus that he'd obeyed them since he was young.
Jesus replied, "Only one thing you lack: Go and sell all you have to the poor, so that you can have treasure in Heaven." The man rejected Jesus command and went away saddened because he was very wealthy and didn't want to lose his riches.
Now, Jesus didn't give him this command because He wanted him to live in poverty. That's not His desire for us. Rather, He did it because he saw an area in the ruler's life that hadn't been relinquished to God's control.
The young man desperately wanted the outcome of eternal life but was unwilling to embrace God's process of surrender. Because of that, he missed out on His best.
The same can be true in our lives. We all want to experience the outcomes of living in God's blessing. That desire often leads us to embrace many of His processes. But we all have areas, like that young ruler, where we struggle to surrender control.
For some, maybe it's in our business or career. We've bypassed godly principles to pursue greater success. Or maybe it's our pattern in establishing friendships or relationships. We stay connected to people and participate in things we shouldn't in an attempt to fit in or feel loved.
We all have our own areas we want to control, but the good news is, it's never too late to start doing things God's way. Proverbs 16:3 tells us that when we make our will agreeable to His, "our plans will succeed." His process can lead us to outcomes we could never achieve on our own.
Following God's process begins with daily submitting our desires to His. We can identify areas where our desires are trumping His by studying His word. Mark scriptures that challenge your way of thinking and put them to the test. Let God show you what embracing His process will produce.
We also must resist doubt. Situations don't always turn around overnight. The satisfaction may not come right away, but continue to have faith in the outcomes God promised. Galatians 6:9 encourages us that "at just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up."
Keep choosing faith over doubt. Stay committed to persistently practicing God's principles, even in the difficult areas. Begin submitting to better processes, and you will find better outcomes.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit faithfamilyvictoria.com.