There is a strong part of me that likes making decisions based on the best foreseeable outcome.
For example, it’s tough for me to make a bigger purchase without looking at other customer reviews or hearing about the product from someone I know and trust. I want a good payoff by purchasing a quality product for a good value.
Or, when speaking with people, I often consider my words carefully to try and make for what I would consider a pleasant and comfortable conversation. I want the outcome of the conversation to reflect well on me and make me feel good.
Basically, my first concern when making many choices is how will this affect me (or my loved ones)? What might the consequences be? How can I plan or think ahead to make sure this affects me in the best way?
But what about when the Lord reveals something about how He wants us to function in a given moment or season?*
Perhaps it is something to say to someone or an action to take or a life change to make. Do we still weigh the possible results? Or consider whether this action will have (what we consider to be) the best outcome? Do we consider the effect it could have on us (or others) at all?
It is not for us to consider the consequences, because, as always, the Kingdom of God functions in a way completely different—entirely Other—than that of the world. The consequences of our functioning according to His leading are in His domain. He leads, we function, He handles the outcome.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives growth.
-1 Corinthians 3:6–7
I’m not saying it’s easy getting over the possible outcomes. In my current life situation, I am coming to realize that the Lord is going to ask me to do things that are outside my comfort zone. WAY outside. And that can be a bit scary at times.
In fact, even as I am writing this I am freaking out a bit out about the consequences of having this blog post publicly posted. What are people going to think of me? Am I totally off? Will anyone understand what I’m trying to say? Do I sound uppity? Will people like what I wrote? Shouldn’t I have written something Christmas-y?
You see, part of me wants to hold my tongue. Part of me wants to sit in my house and only be around people I’m comfortable with and live a life of my choosing. And part of me wants to think through the possible consequences in every situation and figure out how to be the most diplomatic and likeable. But that is not what the Lord is asking of me. In fact, He is asking just the opposite: Stop thinking about the results, the outcome, and the consequences. Stop thinking about yourself. Look at Me. Follow My voice. And let Me handle the rest.
“But, Lord, imagine what that could mean for my children.”
“Consider, Master, how that person might see me afterwards.”
“Bear in mind, King of kings, that this could make You look bad. I’m just thinking of You.”
“Be mindful of my family and friends in this, Omnipotent and Omniscient One.”
“Remember, Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, my job/reputation/relationship is on the line.”
“Take account of what this opportunity means, God of gods, before you ask me to do or say that.”
He is the One who sees all things and knows all things. He is the One who wants His Kingdom to expand across the entire earth. He is the One who desires to fill all things with Himself. We need to trust Him with all things and NOT CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES.
We must say, ‘What has the Lord revealed? It will mean this, it will cost that, it will involve me thus; but that is not the point. I am not going to be influenced or governed by consequences at all…What God has revealed—that is the only argument for me.’
We may look (or feel) like fools while following the Lord’s Life. It really is a giving up of self, bearing that daily cross. There is no more thought as to how living for Him will affect us and our lives and what we want. We don’t matter to ourselves.
So, look like a fool. He did.
Be rejected. He was.
Give it all. He did.
He is worth it. And He will gain from it. He will gain more of us being given over to Him (even though all of us has been given to Him already—we’re just walking out more of that reality). And He will gain His will being done on earth as it is in heaven, the Kingdom of God piercing into the world a little more.
And we will gain in the process, too—more of the Lord. And what more could we want than that?
*As always, following the voice of the Lord and knowing that something revealed to you or another Saint is from the Lord is best worked through with other brothers and sisters seeking the mind of the Lord together and mutually submitting to one another.