So What Are You Going To Try For God Today?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about one little word: try.

Christians should be those who are willing to try things for God’s glory.  We should be those who don’t quit trying.  The Bible calls us to be persistent, to not give up following Christ, praying, hoping, doing good, giving, loving, forgiving, working, and sharing the gospel.  We are to persist because God himself is our helper and he has created good works for us to walk in.

God doesn’t call us to be successful.  He only calls us to be faithful.

Which means to try.  The Master rebuked the servant he’d given one talent to for burying it – for not trying.  He commended the others because they took their talents and went out and tried to do something with them.

A fool says, “I can’t;” a wise man says, “I’ll try.” –Charles Spurgeon, Salt Cellars

There are at least 3 reasons we don’t try things – fear, unbelief and laziness.

Sometimes we fear we’ll fail.  Or we fear what others may think.  We fear going to a brother who is offended at us because of the discomfort we’ll experience, so we put it off again and again.  We fear being evaluated for our efforts, so it’s easier to not do things.  I battle this, even with songwriting, which I’ve done for many years.  I hesitate to send songs for critique at times because I fear that the guys I send it to won’t like them.

The only way to overcome your fears is to “do the thing you fear,” as Emerson wrote, “and the death of fear is certain.”  -Brian Tracy, Eat That Frog.

What great advice.  Ask yourself, what is it you most fear?  Is it letting your pastor know an area you’d like to serve?  Is it stepping out in a spiritual gift?  Going to a sister and asking forgiveness?  Praying out loud in front of others?  Ask God for grace to tackle that fear and attack it at your next opportunity.

At other times we don’t try because of unbelief.

We don’t pray because we don’t think anything will happen.  We quit trying with our children because we don’t think anything will change.  We don’t believe the gospel is powerful.  Or that God will use us.

“Satan strikes either at the root of faith or at the root of diligence.” – John Livingstone in David MacIntyre, The Hidden Life of Prayer

Prayer is a particular area we’re tempted not to try.

We’re tempted not to pray for God to heal because we prayed for someone once and they weren’t healed. We’re tempted not to pray because we don’t believe God hears us or that our prayers are effective.  We’re tempted not to pray because we have to wait for an answer.  Yet we should never quit praying even if we have to wait.

“To wait is not merely to remain impassive. It is to expect – to look for with patience, and also with submission. It is to long for, but not impatiently; to look for, but not to fret at the delay; to watch for, but not restlessly; to feel that if He does not come we will acquiesce, and yet to refuse to let the mind acquiesce in the feeling that He will not come.”  -MacIntyre

In other words, keep praying.  Keep expecting.  Keep asking Jesus to save your children.  Keep asking him to heal you. Keep asking your Father to provide.  Keep asking him to help you in that class.  Keep asking for joy.  Keep asking for strength to serve. Keep asking for opportunities to share the gospel.  Keep trying!

I like these 2 quotes by Brian Tracy in Eat That Frog:

Take action on your plan immediately. Do something. Do anything. An average plan vigorously executed is far better than a brilliant plan on which nothing is done. For you to achieve any kind of success, execution is everything.

Wayne Gretzky, the great hockey player, once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

So what shots are you going to take for God today?

  • Elaine Eshleman

    God doesn’t call us to be successful. He only calls us to be faithful.

    “To wait is not merely to remain impassive. It is to expect – to look for with patience, and also with submission. It is to long for, but not impatiently; to look for, but not to fret at the delay; to watch for, but not restlessly; to feel that if He does not come we will acquiesce, and yet to refuse to let the mind acquiesce in the feeling that He will not come.” -MacIntyre

    I love these quotes; our pastor in Charleston shared similar principles with us early in our Christian walk and they made a strong impression – Pray expecting God to answer and just be faithful, leave the results to Him.

    These two simple ideas are effective weapons against fear and pride, two of my downfalls.

    Thanks for the reminders, Mark! Great encouragement for today's challenges!

    • Mark Altrogge

      Thanks Elaine!

  • JackW

    But what if I leave a comment and you don’t like it?

    …oh wait.

    Never mind, I think I’ll go write a song.

    • Mark Altrogge

      Great Jack – hope it turned out….

  • annlouisemetcalf

    Thanks Mark.

    This is very timely for me. I was just praying last night and this morning for Gods help with work. It is so difficult for me to look at my career as worship too. I want to steward my time at work well and glorify God in all that I do. However, like you said we do not try things because of fear, unbelief, or laziness. I am guilty of all three! I love your Spurgeon qoute, so true! For today, I can TRY!

    • Mark Altrogge

      Hey ann, sorry it took me a couple days to respond – glad the post was timely – I'm mostly preaching to myself! Glad you could relate.