Contrary to what so many of us have been led to believe with sermon illustrations and Sunday school stories, the greatest sign of God's work in our life is not a pattern of rugged self-denial and dig-deep obedience. It's wanting what God wants — then going out and doing it.Then regarding what he calls "Gift Projection" he says:
Gift Projection takes place whenever we begin to project our own unique gifts and calling upon everyone else, as if our assignment should be their assignment, and our strengths their strengths. At its core, it's an arrogant assumption that my calling is the highest calling, and my gifts are the best gifts.I call it chocolate-covered arrogance because on the surface it often looks like nothing more than a sincere desire and passion to carry out God's agenda. In fact, gift projectors never see it as arrogance. They think they're humbly helping God out by fervently recruiting others to a vital task.The last thing I'll share is from a chapter titled "Why Results Don't Matter." This was challenging to me because I think about results a lot. But Osborne says,
But It's arrogance nonetheless. And God's not too hip on arrogance, even if it's chocolate coated.
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God-pleasing spirituality is found in pleasing him — not everyone else.
Faith and obedience always matter.In this section he basically argues that success in your job or ministry is no sign that God is necessarily pleased with you. The only thing that matters is faith and obedience. What is difficult about this is my strong desire to see results. And he's arguing that the Lord will not necessarily give results. Even if you do everything right. Even if you share the gospel with more people than anyone and that is exactly what the Lord wants you do, it doesn't necessarily mean you will see any converts.
I've been tossing around the idea of a PhD in missiology and I'm just about to apply. But gosh, if my thesis proposal is to research missionary methods which are working best in certain places I may just be researching the methods which have yielded results and end up completely missing the missionaries who are fully in the will of God. I'd hate to walk away from years of research thinking I had found out what is best to emulate when in fact there is no correlation. I wonder if the school would accept a thesis proposal on missionaries who the have seen zero fruit for years, but are still trusting the Lord in all they do (faith) and obediently doing what they think they're supposed to despite not seeing fruit.