“Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so all will go well with you. Then you will enter and occupy the good land that the Lord swore to give your ancestors. You will drive out all the enemies living in the land, just as the Lord said you would.” — Deuteronomy 6:18–19
Suffering from terminal cancer at the age of 47, former North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano did an interview where he admitted to being overly obsessed with winning in his younger years. In fact, when he was a young coach at 23, he told his players, “The final score defines you. You lose, you’re a loser. You win, you’re a winner.”
After years of living and countless nights waking up in a cold sweat, shaking from the fever chills of chemotherapy, Valvano changed his perspective on what it meant to be a winner. “It’s effort,” he said, “not result. God, what a great human being I could have been if I’d had that awareness back then.”
There are undoubtedly times in your life when you fail. The breaks simply don’t always go your way. But the question is not how much you fail, but rather how you fail. When you fail, are you failing in obedience? Are you in the will of God? If so, then you can’t be held to blame for the results.
It’s obedience, not results, that really matters in the Christian life. So instead of always trying to succeed, shift your focus toward trying to obey and leave the results up to God. That’s how you’ll find real and lasting success in the spiritual life!
Ask God to help you shift your focus away from the results and onto simple obedience to His will.
Questions for thought
Why do you think it’s so hard to be content in our obedience alone? Who is responsible for the results in that situation?
When we’re obedient and trust God for the results, what kind of attitude should that cultivate in us about ourselves and our abilities?