Your Life As a PrizeJuly 9, 2020
Abandon the Outcome–Not the ProcessJuly 23, 2020
Last week I proclaimed that I am the luckiest man on the planet. I hope you want to argue with me, and claim that I am not, because you are. But if you do not think you are, I am confident that after we sat together for ten minutes, I could show you that you indeed are.
Why do I feel like the luckiest man on the planet?
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (1 Tim. 1:12-14)
My hope is that you, too, can say this with conviction and with sincerity.
Without having his grace poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus, I would be, I could only be, perhaps mildly happy, and only sporadically lucky.
But there is another step in becoming so lucky: Learning to abandon the outcome to Jesus. My friend, you must learn to do this. You must! It is the key to the life that is truly life. When you learn to take your hands off the outcome, to loosen your grip, to stop trying to control the outcome, God’s grace and peace will indeed be poured out on you abundantly.
Grace and peace. You will sense it, you will see it, and trust me, those around you will see it, too. They will praise Jesus for such an astounding miracle! When you relax your grip, Jesus’ peace will begin to flow in you and through you, and soon enough it will flow out of you, onto and into those around you.
This is in part what Jesus meant when he said, “Streams of living water will flow from within you.” (John 7:38)
But you must learn to abandon the outcome to Jesus. I could say, “Learn to ‘let go of’ the outcome,” but abandon carries a sense of total release. As in, “I turned my back on the outcome!”
Next week we will discuss the difference between abandoning the outcome and abandoning the process. We do not abandon the process–we do our part. We do our very best part.
But hear this, you do not control the outcome. This C-19 mess should have convinced you of this…fact. You never have controlled the outcome, and you never will. If you think you do, you are deluded. And no doubt the people around you are suffering. Because when you are sure you can control the outcome, you white-knuckle everything and everyone, maintaining an ever-tightening grip, driving yourself and everyone around you nuts.
I had a man tell me once, “Sam, this new career is very stressful. In my previous job I could control the outcome. But now I have no control at all over the outcome.”
I looked at him and smiled and said, “John, you never controlled the outcome in your last job. You just thought you did, because perhaps most things went your way.”
A few months later he pulled me aside and said, “What an idiot I must have seemed to you when I made that last statement. I see now I do not, and I cannot, control anything: not my wife, my work, my health, not even my children.”
Another friend, a nice person, but a true control freak, had several things turn upside down in his life. I bumped into him recently and he said, “Sam, I am learning I do not have the control I thought I had. As you know, I was driving a pretty big bus (his business, investments, and his family), but I white-knuckled that bus right into a ditch. Now I am learning to loosen my grip on the steering wheel.”
Oswald Chambers captures this perfectly:
If you totally abandon yourself to God, He immediately says to you, “I will give your life to you as a prize.” The reason people are tired of life is that God has not given them anything—they have not been given their life as a prize.
The way to get out of that condition is to abandon yourself to God. And once you do get to the point of total surrender to Him, you will be the most surprised and delighted person on earth. (My Utmost For His Highest, April 28)
Next Week: Abandoning the outcome, not the process.