You’ve probably heard this popular message — You have ultimate control over the outcome of your life. You determine your success. Grit. Hustle. Risk. Resolve. Determination. If you just fight hard and long enough, you will succeed.
Does this sound empowering? Motivating? Life-giving?
Maybe at first glance. The message would make a killer t-shirt graphic, Instagram post or wall canvas. It creates a lot of hype.
But if you’re anything like me, these expectations quickly become exhausting, overwhelming and stressful.
You know why?
The simple truth is that we can’t have deep, residing peace until we realize our plans and paths are ultimately determined by God alone. As we follow in His will and ways, He works for our ultimate good.
Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
But what does this look like on a daily basis?
He isn’t asking us to be passive. Or lazy. Or devoid of passion. In fact, it is just the opposite. He wants us to be active hands and feet for the Kingdom, constantly displaying joyful effort while remaining dependent on Him.
He asking us to abide. To listen. To obey. To make a disciplined effort, knowing that He is able.
We have a profound responsibility. We have the privilege to influence and impact lost souls for the kingdom of God. But we do not determine the outcome. Only God can change hearts, and this through his amazing grace. He didn’t place that burden on us. It would have been too much for our feeble shoulder to carry.
God wants surrendered hearts, desperate prayers and lives aware of their deep weaknesses. He doesn’t need our strength. He doesn’t need our talent. He doesn’t need us to establish the perfect plan or strategy. He wants us to cling to Him, to put our faith into action and to believe He will work on our behalf.
Our souls find rest when we leave the outcome to Him, understanding that He will produce the harvest and grow the fruit. He knows and does what is best.
Sometimes rest isn’t about activity or busyness. It’s about the inward state of your heart and mind.
Life is not about us. And in our most honest moments, we recognize that we wouldn’t want that anyways. Our greatest good comes when He gets to be big and when He gets the glory.
If your soul is anxious, fearful or stressed, consider your role. Consider His sovereignty. Consider His great and unconditional love for you. And then leave the outcome to Him.
This sweet place is where you find purpose and rest for your soul.