Why I’ve Stopped Working So Hard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the frustrating things about my return to Melbourne is there isn’t much I can personally do to move things forward.

The Immigration department of Australia is going out of their way to help during the process, but there’s still something annoying about not being able to help with a problem.

In the past when this frustration reached a boiling point I would try to work harder..somewhere in my head was a voice that said “if you just try hard enough things will work out.”

The problem is of course this voice lied to me. Eventually each of us encounter problems that cannot be fixed by working harder.

It took me a while for me to get that message into my strong-willed [1] head. However once this finally registered the question was, “how do I respond to this waiting period?

Eventually an unexpected answer came to me…be faithful in the small things.

You see we serve a God who deserves first place in life [2] but doesn’t want to demand our obedience. Instead He gives to each of us a choice; do things the way we want to, or obey Him

Those who obey God (obey faithfully) will encounter His blessing, while those who choose their own way will face consequences.

In practical terms faithfulness involves:

  1. Finding what it is that God wants us to do in that moment
  2. Then obeying, and allowing Him to do the work

God doing the work means these acts of faithfulness will often seem random or unimportant. But it’s as we follow the Lord in these that He does an awesome work.

Last Thursday the Lord led me to call the office of my Immigration Lawyer after hours [3] and ask if there was anything that I could do to help with the application.

To be perfectly honest I had very little faith this would make any difference, but as the Lord continued to challenge me I decided to simply obey.

The next morning at 8:30 I received an email from him saying important paperwork had been sent off to Immigration.

Now maybe he would have sent that email even if there wasn’t a message on the answering machine. But I can tell you all of the “hard work” on my part never resulted in paperwork being sent to Immigration.

This experience along with others has taught me hard work isn’t the most important thing to God [4] because I get the glory from it. Instead the most important thing is faithfully following Him one step at a time so HE gets the glory.

Of course this doesn’t mean God doesn’t want us to sit on the coach and watch tv while eating oreo’s all day. However we must make sure our hard work is invested in His plan.


  1. “stubborn”  ↩
  2. He created us  ↩
  3. about 3:00 AM Australian Time  ↩
  4. God is honored with hard work of course, but I believe obedience of His Will is more important  ↩

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