http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvbI-rVJ7aY&feature=youtu.be The heartbeat of this point came from an Oswald Chambers quote in My Utmost For His Highest. I've included the entire devotional with my thoughts on it as well.
After Obedience – What?
“And straightway He constrained His disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side.” Mark 6:45-52
We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us, and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.
What is my dream of God’s purpose? His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process – that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.
God’s training is for now, not presently. His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future. We have nothing to do with the afterwards of obedience; we get wrong when we think of the afterwards. What men call training and preparation, God calls the end.
God’s end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now. If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present: if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious.
A few daggers pieced my soul when I first read this over 10 years ago and still give me perspective today: “What we call the process, God calls the end…It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God…What men call training and preparation, God calls the end.” When I think about these words, I often draw a simple line with two points. Left point is where I am now. Right point is a few inches above the left; it’s my goal. Then under it I draw another line with two points. This one, however, looks more like the stock market. Ups. Downs. Peaks. Valleys. Plateaus. This is reality. Our view of success and God’s view of success is measured by the two contrasting lines.
We often point to the line that goes up and to the right with no resistance as God’s favor and His will. In our warped view of reality, we feel that God, because He loves us, wants us always to succeed. Remembering back to chapter two, your view is skewed. Your view of God dictates your actions and your view of success. You probably view Him as a genie in a bottle, at your every beckon call.
Ups. Downs. Peaks. Valleys. Plateaus. These are all tools in the Master’s toolbox to prune us and shape us more into His image. It is in the valley where the Dream of God is made real. And God looks at you and me in the midst of the school of Delay, where His fires and floods seem at their peak, and says, “This is my boy! This is my girl! They have made it! Look how they handled that problem! Look how their attitude is! Look how their reflecting my Son’s image onto everyone around them! Even though they think that they haven’t met their goal yet, even though they think that they’re a long ways off, to Me, they have already reached it!”
The process is the goal. Whew.