Our Accomplishments or His?

Our Accomplishments or His by Jennifer Sienes

Na Pali Coast, Kau’ai, Hawaii

One question struck at the heart of what I’ve been struggling with for weeks now: In what ways will my life be blessed as I trust in God’s sovereign ability to accomplish His purpose in the world and in my life? 

This question came by way of Cynthia Heald’s Bible study Becoming a Woman of Purpose which I’m taking part in with my women’s Bible study group. It seems like such an innocuous question—one that I’m sure I’ve answered many times before in one form or another. Yet, this morning, it sparked a memory in me.

The first time I read the book of Judges, I wondered at Gideon’s inability to trust that God was who He said He was. Gideon asked for sign after sign before he’d believe that it was actually God speaking to him. I remember thinking how lame Gideon was when God was so evident in His life. But it hit me this morning—I’ve been just like Gideon.

Gideon’s mistrust came from fear—God was asking him to do something which he felt wholly unqualified for—to lead his weak clan against the Midianites. Although the Angel of the Lord promised to be with him, Gideon had doubts. Because, clearly, without God’s sovereign control, there was no way Gideon could possibly survive what was asked of him. Unlike Gideon, God’s not calling me to something that could result in my death, yet I still fear, and that results in…well…little results.

I don’t know what is going to come of the time (years, actually) I’ve spent dedicated to writing. There’s no doubt, God’s working on my character—and believe me, it can use a lot of work. Even knowing that, I allow doubt to plague me. Why can’t I keep in my head and in my heart that this life I’m living isn’t for me? What God wills to do with this time, whether it’s preparing me for my dream of publication or preparing me for something I can’t even yet imagine, that’s His call.

This I know: God is calling me to write the stories He’s put on my heart.

My response should be, “Here I am, ready and willing to do whatever You ask of me.” Instead, my response has been, “Here I am, ready and willing to do whatever brings me my dreams.” Can you all here the obnoxious buzzer that goes off in a game show when the contestant answers a question incorrectly? It’s loud enough in my head to radiate across California.

Praying about it this morning, I asked God to give me the faith of Abraham. Now there’s a patient man. Then I remembered that Abraham didn’t start out so patient and faithful. He doubted God’s plan so much, he fathered a child by his wife’s maid, Hagar. Because of his mistrust of God’s protection, he told Abimelech that Sarah was his sister rather than his wife. This was not a man of complete faith—at least not in the beginning. He was a work in progress, just like we are.

And it gives me hope.

God uses ordinary people—people who are broken, sinful and faithless—to do extraordinary things. Isn’t that amazing? My hope is that I come to that place of trust and faith before I’m 100! That I can let go of my agenda and my plan and let the Lord work through me in His time. I want to say, “Here I am, Lord, ready and willing to do whatever You ask of me!”

What about you? In what ways will your life be blessed as you trust in God’s sovereign ability to accomplish His purpose in the world and in your life?

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