The Price of the Process

Elwin Ahu

"Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also." (Galations. 2:1)
There is a price to success, in life and ministry, that we often overlook and refuse to pay, yet without it we are certain to fail. Paul paid for it, so did Moses and David and other great leaders of the Old and New Testaments. Those who didn't were silenced by their selfishness. What is the price to success: it's found in "the Process." It's the price we pay by being willing and patient to invest in what will eventually reap great dividends towards our success. The lesson: "don't circumvent the process."

Paul paid this price over a fourteen year period of training, of struggles and discipline to prepare him for what awaited him on the other side of the line of ministry. It was through the process that developed his character, tested his integrity and transformed his mind into who eventually would provide the foundation for lessons we still glean from for our lives today. Paul understood his calling and his eventual destination, but even throughout his ministry of shipwrecks, beatings and trials, he never circumvented the process for his own selfish desires. It was a steep price to pay, but the return on his investment was priceless.
We, however, live in such a fast paced, driven and selfish society today that demand results faster than the process sometimes will allow. And when we refuse to pay the price of the process, our results are short-lived and the consequences are costly, both to our own lives and to others. We see the "poverty" in many relationships, in marriages, in leaders who had to pay dearly in the end for what could have been avoided had they chosen to simply invest in the time and lessons to be learned in the process. Many young leaders fail in their attempts to unleash their potential of leadership caused by their unwillingness to respect the lessons learned in the process of leadership development. In life and in ministry there are no short-cuts.

I would be the first to stand in line to plead guilty to this offense. I find myself oftentimes handcuffed by pride, impatience, lack of humility, unaccountability, lack of submission that tie my hands from honoring the process. I set the stage for disappointment and frustration by relying upon false expectations when I fail to respect the process. The process takes time: Time for my family, to develop the depth of relationships with those whom I love and are dear to my heart; Time with my Lord, to study and discipline myself in His Word in order to gain the wisdom necessary for life; Time to equip and train in the areas essentials for life and ministry. What I choose to invest in today just may spell the difference between returns that are short-lived or generational for the Kingdom.
Father, forgive me for times where my selfishness has turned me away from Your ways, where I circumvented the process, and missed the critical lessons You had for me. Help me to discipline myself for the sake of Godliness and to be willing to invest my time wisely to follow the path You've already set for me, paying the price of the process along the way.

Devotions for November 05

Job 28,29
Galatians 1,2

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