Faithful…Not Necessarily Fruitful

My heart sinks as I see the e-mail. Feed-burner sent me a message another person unsubscribed to my blog.

My self-talk pours acid on the ache of rejection.

Nobody reads your blog.

Your writing doesn’t matter.

You will never be a published author.

You are not good enough, smart enough, together enough. Who would want to read what you write?

It is a familiar battle. I step into the fray of doing God’s will for my life and Satan attacks my insecurities and weaknesses. I am not the only one. My friend Jessica wrote about thoughts of failure too.

I have written about doubts before, but I still struggle. Where is the fruit of this ministry God has given me. Is there verifiable numbers and change? Can I measure what God is doing through me? Yesterday I listened to a sermon by Drew Super called God on the Throne: A Holy Life. He was talking about Isaiah and his ministry of doom and gloom. He said, “Ministries don’t have to be fruitful, but faithful.”

Ministries don’t have to be fruitful. Look at Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Hosea, and Elisha. Their ministries didn’t bear fruit. No one liked them because they told the truth of God’s impending destruction of Israel and Judah. They didn’t have many converts or huge followings, but each of these men were faithful to the ministry God gave them.

Oh to be faithful regardless of followers and attention. Faithful despite opposition or ridicule. What would my life look like if I cared more about being faithful to God than being fruitful? Could it be in my desire to reach thousands I am failing to reach the few close to me? Could it be God measures faithfulness to follow Him higher than fruitfulness? Even Jesus says, “but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13) He doesn’t say the fruitful will be saved, but those who stand firm, the faithful.

So I have decided to be faithful in ministry and leave the fruitfulness to the One who grows the fruit, God. I can’t make my ministry fruitful anyway.

As I cling to faithfulness I am freed of fruitfulness. Freed to do what God calls me to do and let Him grow the fruit.

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Angela
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6 Responses to Faithful…Not Necessarily Fruitful

  1. Amanda says:

    Wish I had a “Like” button to click!  🙂

  2. Angela —

    I SO understand you in this!!! 

    I am slowly “getting over” the numbers game (although I am still tempted to write e-mails to every un-subscriber begging them to “tell me why?!?!?!?” as if they’re a boyfriend breaking up the moment I expected a proposal!)

    Obedience is our task. Results are God’s. I’m learning (ever-so-slowly!) that writing is ultimately my response to God speaking to my heart. If He decides to share our conversations with others, great. If not, ditto. 

    Several months ago, the week after speaking at a women’s retreat, I was instant messaging with one of the attendees who was broken-hearted over a choice her child had made. I suddenly realized that I’d written the “perfect” blog post to share with her. I forwarded the link, and sure enough. She tearfully thanked me for JUST the right words. 

    When I’d written the blog post MANY months earlier, I’d received no comments. No traffic. No acclaim. But it was there, ready and waiting, the night God needed to use it to comfort one of his precious daughters. 

    This experience helped me realize that there are reasons for “my” writing that are far beyond my understanding…far beyond stats or subscriptions (and un-subscriptions!) and SEO and “Likes” and anything else we make ourselves crazy with…and far, far, far beyond my control. 

    Sorry to ramble…just wanted to say you’re not the only one!

    🙂

    In His Delight,

    Cheri

  3. Sweet friend,

    I, too, felt an ache in my heart every time I received one of those emails. Which is why I finally turned that notification off. Why would they have our feed set up so that we get an email when someone unsubscribes, but not when someone signs up?! That’s just rude.

    I want you to know that your ministry IS fruitful. What I read here bears fruit in my life. When we talk via email and Skype, I am encouraged and inspired. You minister to me. And I know I’m not the only one.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

    Love you,
    ET

  4. Kathryn Champion says:

    Oh Angela! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and as many times as it takes – I’ll KEEP on saying it – your words ALWAYS speak volumes to me! Whether I have time to comment when I read them or not, whether I have time to share it with others or not – your posts (well, the notifications of your posts) may sit in my inbox for a week or more, but NONE are ever deleted until I have at least had time to read them because I KNOW God has wisdom for me there. Sometimes, I think He even makes sure that I don’t read a post as soon as it is ready because He is saving it for just when He knows I’m going to need it the most 😉

    I used to feel the same way about my writing. I don’t even write as much as you do but when the Lord puts something on my heart to share, I share it. I realized one day that it doesn’t matter if anyone else reads it or not – just writing it down helps me to go back and see my own growth (or, sadly, the lack thereof, sometimes). And, like Cheri said, whether He chooses to share it with someone else or not is up to Him and I’m okay with it either way.

    And – HEY! I didn’t know you had Skype! I’ll have to message you my Skype info one day soon – I would LOVE to actually “talk” with you one day. You TRULY are a great encourager to me – you have absolutely NO idea!

    Praying extra special blessings over you today, girlfriend, and asking Him to send you a very special “God-hug” so be watching for it 😉

    Love ya!

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