In 1865, Hudson Taylor struggled with a decision. He felt led to take the gospel to vast millions in the interior of China, when most missionary efforts were focused on coastal cities. His indecision came from a sense of the overwhelming nature of the task, and from a sense of his own inadequacy. On a retreat spending time alone with the Lord and meditating on this decision, this is what came to him:
“If we are obeying the Lord, the responsibility rests with Him, not with us! You, Lord, you shall have all the burden. At Thy bidding, as Thy servant I go forward, leaving results with Thee.”
This should sound familiar to folks who have heard Campus Crusade for Christ’s definition of successful witnessing: “Taking the initiative to share the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.”
Encouraged by these thoughts, Taylor went on to pioneer missionary efforts in inland China, the legacy of which is alive and well today.
Whether in everyday life situations or large decisions where we feel inadequate or overwhelmed at what the Lord has called us to do, we have only to act in obedience with faith. The results of this trusting obedience are not our responsibility, but the Lord’s.
Thoughts taken from Donald Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life