Letting God Do the Work
Have you ever experienced the same theme showing up in your life? From conversations to Bible verses to sermon messages? Just me? I’ll just proceed. The theme that I keep hearing lately is to let God do the work. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I’m a little bit of a “striver.” I keep things moving forward. I do what needs to be done and check it off the list in my head (because let’s be honest…I still like it a little random on paper).
But recently, I’ve been discussing the same topic over and over again. Cease striving. Lay down your everyday tools for getting things done. Let God do the work.
Let’s start at the beginning
It started a few weeks ago during summer book club. I host a book club in the park each year mostly because we Minnesotans need to embrace nice weather for the 2 weeks of so it appears. We’re reading Max Lucado’s Unshakeable Hope together and one night our discussion focused on this very topic. How do we step aside, stop striving, and let God do the work?
Before I knew it, this topic was popping up everywhere. At lunch with a new business networking friend. At coffee with a friend who also runs a business as we cheered each other on to be authentically ourselves, keep it simple, and trusting God to do the work. And then last week, Annie F. Downs published a podcast interview with another fave Chris Rice who stepped away from the spotlight and has found God doing the work even more from his place of resting. They talk stepping away, God doing the work, what gospel influence really means, and understanding that faith is not all about the feels.
As I type and write, I wonder about you my friend? Are you striving, like I can sometimes, to do all the things only to have God say He’s got it? Whatever it is? Or maybe you’ve been feeling that nudge that keeping all the balls juggling is not worth the price you’re paying? Or maybe, and this is my secondary conclusion from this theme, that you need to trust that who God has made you to be is enough?
If you relate to any of that, keep reading. Because I’m a get-her-done kind of person, I really wanted to just give you the 3 steps that will help you let God do the work. But instead, I’m sitting in the mystery of what I’m learning. I’m learning to be present for what that means for me. And I’m learning to learn to ease up on the gas so God can take over in the driver’s seat. So, if you want some thoughts to ponder, I’ve got you covered.
Faith is not about the goosebumps
One of the hardest parts about trusting God to do the work, is the question we may have about is this the right thing? Did we hear God correctly? Are we on the wrong path? We can start to wonder how we even find out what God wants us to do and where He wants us to go. I confess, that I rely heavily on my feelings when it comes to discerning God’s plans. Do I feel His presence? Have I felt a nudge or heard a gentle whisper? Did I get goosebumps during worship?
True truth. Lately, I haven’t been hearing that still small voice or those gentle nudges. Instead, I’ve been reading His word and praying by faith - trusting that His presence in my life is not always about the feeling of His presence. Walking in faith in everyday life is not about the good bumps or the feelings. It’s about trusting God is who He says He is and trusting that He is where He said He would be. “I am with you always.” Just in case.
And when it comes to letting God do the work, we need to start here. Trusting that God is present even when it doesn’t feel like He is. Trusting that God is ready to do the work on your behalf and for your people. Trusting that God will use what you bring to the table in the lives of others.
Resting in the mystery
I had a seminary professor who warned us on the first day of class, “Never say that God is a mystery.” His point was that just confuses people and makes God seem unknowable. And yet, in our moments of honesty, God is a mystery. We don’t know His mind on all the things all the time. We don’t understand our next steps. We don’t always know what we don’t know.
When it comes to letting God do the work, we don’t always know what kind of work He wants to do in and through us. Personally, I’d take confidence over mystery any day of the week. But my everyday experience? God is a mystery. And how He intends to use my life is a mystery. And while I may seem confident, I have more questions than answers.
How do I deal with the mystery? My own personal secret sauce is baby steps. Taking one baby step after another. Trusting that if I’m off track, God will close a door, send a nudge, or show me a verse that reminds me that He does the work. I don’t understand how it all works, but I trust His presence. I trust that He cares about my life and my steps. And I trust that as I move, He walks with me and does the work.
Being present for Gospel Influence
Chris talked about this in his interview with Annie, but it was a lesson I learned shortly after I quit my dream job in a flourish. Our greatest impact happens not when we reach more strangers, or get more likes on that Instagram post, or even when our phone rings off the hook because we have sooo many friends. Our greatest impact happens with our everyday walking around in life people.
The people in our home. In our church. The people who have access to our hearts. The people we invite to sit across the kitchen table with us and share our hearts and our dreams. Our neighbors. Our friends. Our church family. Our co-workers.
God does His greatest work in us when we stay. When we choose the life He’s already gifted to us. When we choose the people He’s given us. When we choose to be present today and find purpose in our everyday lives.
All that to say, I’m still learning. Where this is showing up for me is in my business. I want to be true to myself and the story that God is writing when it comes to coaching women and growing my business. That may mean my business doesn’t grow the way other coaching businesses do. That may mean I spend less time trying to get my messaging just right and more time just saying what God lays on my heart. That may mean I allow God to define my success and stop trying to prove that I have something to say. That may mean more listening to the people in my life and less teaching and telling.
Friend, that’s my hope for you too. You may or may not have a dream to start a business. You may desire something different for your life. More health. Deeper friendships. More balance. And in all this I say two things. Let God do the work in you to produce that. And the world needs you to you. Your true you. The one that God created it. That it all.