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From Start to Finish

For 30 days, I had tried to raise funds for the new worship album I’m recording soon.  Over the weekend, that campaign ended.

On the surface, it was not the success I had hoped for. Obviously I would have loved for people to rally and partner with me to raise all the funds needed. I mean, people have raised into the tens of thousands of dollars (or more) on this same platform for all kinds of genres of music albums, scientific museums, comedians, and all sorts of projects so why not?

I made sure to read the materials from the site about having a successful campaign. I did what I could to follow in the footsteps of other successful projects. I learned from the best and tried to follow the ‘rules’ as they were applicable here. Still in the end, we raised just over 10% of the total needed.

It’s times like these that I have to step back and remember that it’s not in my hands. You can do everything “right” and still not have the desired outcome. 

I’m happy once again that the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 doesn’t end with the master saying, “well done, you influential and successful servant.” Instead the first two servants heard the master’s pleasure based on how they conducted themselves,

“Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” –Matthew 25:23

His emphasis was not on how much came back, but on the fact that the servant had used his talents and been faithful with something small. That’s different than we normally discern things. We see someone successful and deduce that God is with them. This may be the case and it may not. Only God and that person know about whether they are faithful or not.

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. –Ephesians 6:13

That’s all I can do. Stay faithful and do everything I can with the wisdom He gives. Honestly, there is very little I would have or be doing if I used the “what’s easy?” method to discern God’s will. I wouldn’t be pastoring in Alaska. I wouldn’t have any of our three adopted kids. I probably wouldn’t have recorded any previous worship albums.

There’s a start so there has to be a finish. I’m not giving up because of a setback or because it’s not as easy as I had hoped. I know this album is something God has his hand on and I truly believe it will touch people’s lives. I am so thankful for those who have chosen to participate and I don’t want to try to figure out why others didn’t (or haven’t yet). I’ll keep sharing my vision and asking people to be a partner.

How about you? Do ever fall into the trap of thinking God’s will equals success by your or the world’s standards? Do you have trouble maintaining faithfulness when you don’t see the results?

10 Comments

  1. Disappointment never has to mean defeat, and I’ve never had a lack that didn’t also have potential for provision. Sure others can look at us like we’re crazy; we can even look at ourselves in those terms. We’ve made our plans with good intentions to glorify God, but I for one invite Him to interrupt and intervene with His perfection and blow those plans out of the water.

    As for your project, I know the time and effort invested will produce all that He has called forth.
    Philip recently posted..Hey, Remember the 80′s?My Profile

    • This is truth! We are His and He has overcome the world. We choose whether disappointment will rule over us because it has no authority unless we give it the authority. Now, in the moment, it doesn’t FEEL that way, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Thanks so much, Philip. I appreciate all your help and support in all of this.

  2. First, sorry to hear you didn’t reach the financial goal you set. I do appreciate your attitude Jason. To answer your question: when I was mired in the “success” game, I discouraged easily. Not seeing the results and quickly as I thought was fodder for throwing the hands up in the air. But once I grasped the idea of faithfulness and not success was God’s goal, it changed everything. i still want to reach my goals. i still want to have “success.” But I now know what matters.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..MovedMy Profile

    • All I can do is keep pressing on! I came through the disappointment to the place of trust, and I know God can do something in that place. I’m with you. I wouldn’t mind success or my plans working out at all, but they aren’t my focus. He is and He is ALWAYS beautiful and glorious. Thank you, Bill.

  3. I echo Bill’s comment.

    This is pithy but, now in my mind:

    ‘Success = temporary achievement by man’

    while

    ‘victory = faithfully following Christ through thick and thin until the end.’
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..The One Certainty in My LifeMy Profile

    • Pithy is just fine, Dusty! It’s truth and it’s life-giving. Thanks so much, friend.

  4. Jason, I could write a book on setbacks… but I know what you know; it isn’t the circumstances that change first, it is our perspective. Once God reveals that to us and we accept it, great things are going to happen. That doesn’t mean we’re always going to get our way, but we will come to understand His… and it’s always better than ours…

    I’m honored to have been able to support you in your efforts, but I’m even more thrilled to be with you to see how God opens the doors to the paths He’s chosen for you and your music.

    Keep the faith, my brother! God is working in and through you!

    • Amen, Floyd! I believe it. God is up to something big and I choose to keep my eyes there. Jesus is both the Author and the Finisher of our faith. He is more than enough! Thanks so much.

  5. I’ve surely been dismayed when I found my artistic abilities didn’t take me where I thought they would. But there were so many things I should have done that I didn’t…like stay persistent in my faithfullness, which did suffer. I’m trying to get back to it now, but it’s a battle.

    • Absolutely. There’s some comfort in knowing He is leading and He knows where He’s going, but the waiting can be so hard. The patience, faithfulness, and everything else flows from His Spirit (it’s His fruit after all). All any of us can do is stay connected to Him. I know the battle well! Thank you, Ed.