Obedience In, Joy Out

Decoration image for quotation

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.”

1 Corinthians 3:6

When we start expecting certain results from our obedience to God, then we set ourselves up for discouragement and disappointment. God’s economy doesn’t work in a paradigm of effort in - reward out. In the paradigm of hearing and obeying everything rests on love and intimacy.

If we expect certain results from our labour, we are limiting God and his work. Our minds can only comprehend a few of the possibilities that are available to God. He is not bound by time, space, or resources. There is no sacred/secular divide for God. God desires to be part of every moment, and that is why hearing and obeying is part of the way we live as disciples, and not something restricted to a moment in our devotional time.

So how should we view our efforts if we are trying to let go of the results? Our efforts to hear and obey are an act of worship. Our efforts are a faithful act of our will (remember the servants with the talents). Our efforts to hear and obey bring God joy, and the “joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) The ‘try harder-get more results’ equation doesn’t work in God’s economy; but the humble hear and obey, “that he (God) may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)

Action: Reflect on the what results you expect from God. Put your hands in front of you, palms up. In a conscious act, release those expectations back to the Lord.

Prayer: Jesus I thank you that you hear my prayers and that you delight in giving good gifts to your children. Jesus I acknowledge your sovereignty over all things. I offer my obedience to you as an act of worship, regardless of the outcomes. May you be glorified. Amen.

Share this page

About the author

Profile photo for John Hall

John Hall became the Executive Director at Mission Central (formerly Missions Fest Vancouver) in 2014. In 1997 he, his wife and brother in-law started Eco Outdoor Sports in Metro Vancouver. In 2003 the business was sold, and his family entered a seven-year ‘desert experience’. During that time the Lord impressed on John and his family the importance of hearing and obeying Jesus every day, something that he tries to integrate into everything he does. In 2010 God changed the family’s direction and led him to finish his degree at Regent College in preparation for life as a full-time missionary overseas. Although that ministry opportunity didn’t develop as planned a whole new perspective and participation-in Christ’s mission was born at Missions Fest Vancouver. It’s now a daily occurrence for John’s business background and theological training get a workout.

John and his wife Wei live in Richmond, BC. They have two wonderful adult girls. John completed his MA at Regent College in 2010.

The Tapestry Church (Richmond, BC)
Mission Central (Burnaby, BC) — Executive Director

Series: Hearing and Obeying—Devotionals

See all

Count the Cost

Have you counted the cost of being a disciple? Go to Jesus, lay out your concerns before him, and ask for his perspective on your struggle.Read more Read more...


Love Your Enemies

If you have an enemy in your life, if someone hates you, consider how Jesus is asking you to go to them? Hearing and obeying requires embodied action.Read more Read more...


Holiness and Obedience

Our goals, the accumulation of power, and things that we spend so much time on may have less importance than we may be willing to admit.Read more Read more...


Idols and Mighty Deeds

God desires that he is the only one to whom we direct our worship, and one of the reasons is so that His power can be demonstrated in our lives.Read more Read more...

More on Mission Central

Random Posts

Mission Resource

A Neighbourly Invitation

What would it look like to pray for those closest to us, in our backyards? A Neighbourly Invitation is just that initiative to prayer and more.Read more Read more...


April's Audio Recording Highlight

Lisa Koons shares about the foundational connection between prayer and mission.Read more Read more...



Sometimes we have selective hearing. Consider the tension between hearing and doing, and hearing and waiting—the issue of timing.Read more Read more...

Event Recap

RECAP: Conversations With...Wanda Fost

Wanda Fost answers our questions on the connection between rest and generosity as she digs into issue of faith, time, provision and generosity.Read more Read more...

Random Posts

Event Recap

“Developing Missional Disciples” Roundtable Discussion Recap

Mission Central hosted a roundtable discussion of missional discipleship for mission pastors and outreach leaders.Read more Read more...


Serve Conference is Going Virtual!

Serve is oriented to disciples of Jesus who are filled with true hope and seek to contribute solutions in the world.Read more Read more...


When a Muslim Dreams of a Missionary

With crushing debt, a dying mother and a looming prison sentence, Murad was in desperate need of a miracle. Then, he dreamed of a missionary.Read more Read more...


November's Audio Recording Highlight

Shane shares at Missions Fest Vancouver 2012 on love and the way of JesusRead more Read more...