This past weekend I helped lead a retreat for a group of Christian businessmen who are seeking to understand what God has in store for them and their companies. The focus was on how God turns barren fields into fruitful places, understanding the “field” God has given us and the Kingdom impact He intends through it. We also discussed the obstacles to expect and the keys to staying on track. The group was small but the time was rich, deep and personal. God clearly moved.
As my colleague and I were chatting afterwards, God told him that we needed to be on our guard because the Enemy was going to try to steal the seeds planted and cause us to doubt or get discouraged. Within 24 hours, we ran into that wall. Each in different ways, Satan hit us with some major challenges. We had invested time and energy to prepare, traveled miles to be there, poured ourselves into people deeply, and then came home to family crises. Then came the whisper in our ears … “was it worth it”?
Although our situation felt tough, I suspect we are not alone. How many times have we all found ourselves stepping out in faith or obeying what God has told us to do, and maybe even seen some fruit from it, only to be attacked and beat down immediately after? It’s like Elijah coming down from the mountain top after fighting the prophets of Baal and seeing God act with fire from heaven, and then fleeing and finding himself in a cave wondering if he was the only one left.
Since we had advanced notice of this attack, I recognized it and took that question to God. When I asked God “was it worth it”, His answer was clear. He reminded me that we held the retreat because He had told us to. God may have greater things in store, but our role was simply to listen and obey. We did it not for the outcome, but because He said so. Then I heard God clearly say “Obedience is always worth it”. I believe that. Be encouraged.