So, as many of you know, Illuminate The Nations and Victory have been working really hard these past couple of weeks putting on some outreaches for students on the campus of Penn State (shameless plug, go check out my events page and see the awesome event that we have going on this week called ‘Evidence for God’). We’ve been having an awesome time and our events have been going incredibly well, but not without a fair deal of stress and to be honest; some fear.
It’s somewhat of a nerve wracking process to put yourself out there in a way, slap your name on something, work so hard to promote it, bring people in to do a concert or a speaking engagement and run the risk of nobody showing up and the whole idea of an outreach falls flat on its face. There’s some fear in it, “What if nobody shows up… What if I put all of this work into it and it’s a dud… What if… What if… What if…”
And that’s Satan’s game guys. He gets us to play the “what if…” game whenever God has already declared our success and victory in a situation. We know that God has already spoken our success into existence and the only thing that can prevent it from coming to fruition is our doubt. So Satan tries to get us to say, “What if this happens, this whole thing will fail.” And that gives power to the opposition. “What if…[insert adverse undesirable result here]” is the birth place of doubt in our hearts. Entertaining the thoughts of undesirable outcomes will tip the scales out of our favor.
In Hebrews 3:19, we see that the Israelites were not able to receive what had been promised to them because of their unbelief. Another way of saying “unbelief” is to say that they doubted the promise that God had made to them. Their doubt kept them from receiving that which had been promised.
Our doubt or unbelief actually has the power to see God’s promises manifest or not. And when you think about it, that’s the Gospel, right? We have to believe and confess (Romans 10:9-10) and then God’s promise of salvation is ours. But this isn’t just a rule of the gospel, this is a character statement of who God is. All we have to do is buy in, whole heartedly, to God’s promises and then let them become manifest.
As we approached this last outreach that we did at Penn State called “Ignite”, I was just talking to God and sharing my fear of failure and why I was scared of an outcome that was less than desirable. Then I heard Him speak and He just said, “There’s your version of success and then there’s my version. You’re version has room for failure, mine doesn’t because I don’t fail. Buy into my version of success, because that’s what a renewed mind does. A new creation buys into Kingdom truths more than anything else. Buy into my version of success. If not in number, then in encounter.”
So moving forward from there, I had a sound conviction that we had put in the work necessary to make this a success and God was going to show up in one way or another so the pressure was off. We had worked hard to create something that would grow the Kingdom and share the good news and for that reason, the rest of the event was up to God. I think it was St. Augustine who said something to the effect of, “Work as if everything depends on you but pray as if everything depends on God.”
I bought into the promise that says, as a child there is no failure. And let me tell you, the next night, God showed up and the whole room felt His presence. As I’ve said before, everything we do is either a representation of something good from God or a misrepresentation of something good from God. If you’re buying into something that has room for failure, you’re giving room for a misrepresentation of God’s good promises. Go check out my post You’re a Millionaire for more on that topic.
The thing is, nothing changed physically between Wednesday night when I was fearful and Thursday morning when I was confident; it was a matter of perspective. God changed my perspective from saying, “This will only be a success if more than ‘x’ amount of people show up” to saying, “This will only be a success if God’s presence is felt by the people that come out.” My perspective changed from something that depended on me and got refocused on something that depended on God. My perspective shifted from my ability to market an outreach event to God’s ability to show up.
And guess what, the numbers we were hoping for didn’t necessarily show up that night, but the people who did show up felt the presence of God. Which is exactly what God had spoken to me the night before: “If not in number, then in encounter.”
Being able to see the positive depended on me placing my focus on what God was able to do, not what I was unable to do. That’s the ticket to never failing. Judge success and failure by his ability to show up. And you’ll start seeing Him in everything.
Much love guys, as always, thank you for the support. Like and share this post. Drop a comment and let me know how this topic relates to you. What are some specific areas in your life that you’ve seen perspective play a role in your outlook?