Do the hard thing even when people don’t understand you. Paul had it in his spirit to go to Jerusalem. His friends, who were believers, even prophetic, told him not to go. They tried to convince him not to do it. But Paul knew what was in his spirit. He told us in 1 Corinthians 4:4 that he conducts himself in all good conscience. In Acts 24:16, speaking of Paul, “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.”
Don’t disobey to please people if you know that you have heard from the Lord. Keep your conscience clear. Men won’t always understand. That’s because God didn’t speak that to them. They weren’t on a zoom call with you to hear what God said to you. People have good intentions, but they won’t always understand.
If Daniel were facing his choice to be thrown in the lion’s den today, people would have told him, “Dude, listen. You don’t have to do this. Just close your windows and pray in secret. That way, you won’t offend anyone and not risk your life.” But Daniel did what Daniel knew to do. Daniel going headlong into the lion’s den was the very thing that brought glory to God and influence with the king. It was the exact place Daniel was called to serve. His actions caused the removal of those with corrupt influence and the establishment of righteous influence.
If the Three Hebrew boys were facing the fiery furnace today, people would have justified them bowing down and even encouraged it. They would have told them, “it wouldn’t be God’s will for you to die. If you die, how will you do anything for God? That isn’t necessary. God sees your heart.” Ehhh—wrong! The act of being thrown into the furnace influenced the king, causing him to declare that God is the only real God. It was their willingness to do the hard thing that caused their bonds to fall off, and it was that hard thing that brought glory to God.
The kingdom of God is the invisible, influencing the visible. It is the unseen influencing the seen. Like the wind, you see its influence without ever seeing the wind itself. People won’t see that God is influencing you. They will only see later what the impact was. People won’t understand you. Accepting that will help you go from being a people pleaser with no influence to a God pleaser with tremendous influence. Do the hard thing!
Trouble may come before the thing is finished, and people will say, “See, I told you.” But you can’t worry about that. Those same people don’t ask you for your opinion before doing what they think they should do. They aren’t worried about what you think or if you agree. In fact, for Paul, Daniel, and the three Hebrew boys, it looked like they were right.
Let’s look at Paul. If he had listened and not gone to prison, we wouldn’t have most of the New Testament. The influence and reach of Paul’s obedience to what God put in his spirit still speaks over 2,000 years later. We still cling to what he taught us about following Christ.
Don’t waste time judging others. It isn’t your business, and it isn’t your calling. Do what God speaks to you to do so you can influence and make the impact you need to make.
Do the hard thing!