The task of doing what Jesus called us to do can be daunting. We don’t feel qualified, prepared, or in any way adequate. All this proves is we are thinking too much of our own abilities and too little of God’s power. Francois Fenelon once wrote, “In doing what God wills there is very little to be done by us. And yet, there is a wonderful work to be accomplished;
it is nothing less than that of keeping nothing back, making no resistance, even for a moment, to the jealous Love that searches inexorably into the most secret recesses of the soul for the smallest trace of self, for the slightest intimations of an affection of which Divine Love is not the Author.” In other words, our main task is simply to surrender everything to Jesus and He’ll take care of the rest.
Those who have rid themselves of all selfishness and self-seeking desires will do incredible things for God. They have little else to do but be still and watch God work through them. Our real struggles come when we try and build God’s Kingdom while simultaneously watching out for own safety, security, and comfort. Jesus said “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Living for Jesus is simple and amazing once you are ‘all in’, but impossible if you are not.
Do you want to know how to be effective for God? The answer lies in two parts. First, you must surrender your entire life to Him; hold nothing back. Second, never look back. If you will do those two things, God will do amazing things through you. Neither task is simple, but both are required for true followers of Jesus.
We put undue pressure on ourselves by thinking it’s up to us to accomplish the work God has given us to do. Our job is to surrender our lives to Him. This allows Him to pour His power into our lives. Once His power is flowing through us, there is nothing we cannot do. Doing the work of God is only difficult when we attempt to do it in our own strength. We tend to get in our own way by attempting to either regain control of what God is doing, or becoming afraid and looking for the nearest exit.
Remember Peter walked on water until he became more concerned about his own safety (Matthew 14:22-33). Anything is possible as long as our eyes are on Jesus. As long as Peter threw away all thoughts of himself and simply trusted Jesus, he was able to do what had been impossible just moments earlier. Peter did not gain any new ability just before stepping out of the boat. He simply let go of all thoughts of Himself. From there it was easy – until He looked back. It’s the perfect picture of how to be effective for God. Surrender all thoughts of self. Focus on Jesus without looking back. He’ll take care of the rest.