When You Think What You Do Doesn’t Count

It takes courage to dream big, audacious dreams. Sometimes, it takes more courage — once you’ve seen those dreams begin to come to pass — to leave them behind to follow God.

Our sight can become blurred when we are swept up into the current of all things current. We can be pulled into the mainstream and forget the main thing.

Last year, I got drawn in. My vision of the prize got blurred when I saw other people’s accomplishments — ones that seemed natural for the course I was on — and made them my own goals.

We can see another’s success, how they are celebrated, be enticed and say, “That’s what I should do!” And miss the mark, entirely — the mark for the prize of the upward call of Christ for us.

I was beginning to see accomplishments in my own life, yet I was sorely missing the mark.

A question came from God. A question I couldn’t answer right away. One I didn’t fully understand, but was somehow aware I needed to weigh its cost before answering.

The question, “Can you be satisfied with a success in Me that’s quiet.” 


That’s not the same as small. Size has little relevance in the the Kingdom of God, in God’s eyes. We put the relevance on size. He wasn’t asking me to embrace a small success. He was asking me to embrace a quiet one.

Was I willing to follow Him, even if it meant He may be the only one that sees what I do? Was I willing to pay a high price, a sacrifice of time, of energy, of emotions, of resources, whatever it may be, but only He know about it? 

In the fall of last year, I was at a conference. In the bathroom of the hotel I happened to glance down at the tile floor and see a small neatly folded pile of clothes that looked a lot like a pair of pajamas. They were my roommate’s.

My first thought was, they shouldn’t be on the floor. So, carefully picked them up, and placed them on the shelf of the vanity that was just a few inches from where the clothes laid. In an instant, I heard God speak into my heart, “I keep count. I remember the good things you do in secret.”

In the next breath, I was moved to weeping.

God keeps account of the good you do in secret, that no one else knows about, but Him.

I thought quickly about all the things I’ve done in secret that no one has seen, all the time I’ve given, sowing seeds for a future harvest. The effort, energy, heart and soul I’ve poured out for others as offerings to God, that I don’t have an account of.

Yet, He’s telling me, He does.

Am I content with a success in God that no one sees? Can I work in secret with the same fervor, passion, diligence, and commitment as if there was a multitude gazing, and a crowd pouring out accolades, when there is not a soul watching?

No one, but Him.

Can I work without the promise of a reward in this world, in order to receive it in the next?

This is not an easy yes. This is a refining.

And though I pray the words, “May my most passionate pursuit always be of you, Lord.” I find myself, often, with wandering eyes and a wayward heart.

But when the Creator of the universe speaks in more than a whisper, “I keep count,” as I take a half of a second to pick someone’s clothes up off the floor, it somehow makes every seemingly small and insignificant task worth doing, for Him.

And I’ve always believed when we know God is pleased and takes joy in us — that it gives us strength. The joy of the Lord, the Lord’s joy in us, is our strength.

And God’s pleasure and His joy are worth living for.




Joining in community with a dear friend, Emily. You’ll love her.

  • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

    My pjs & I are grateful & love you so very very much.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      This made me smile. God uses the simplest things to speak to us, doesn’t He? 🙂

  • Emily Wierenga

    Thank you so much for this Michele-Lyn… Such an important message for today…. We only hear God in the quiet… XO

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      This is a message God is still working in my heart and life. May He have His way in all of us…

  • HisFireFly

    refining, yes
    and will we agree that He is enough?
    your words stirred me today, reminding me of ALL that matters
    Him and Him alone

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn

      I pray the stirring continues in your heart and mine.

  • http://tuningmyhearttopraise.blogspot.com/ ro elliott

    Yes..yes..sweet lady…I have been pondering with God this upside down kingdom we live in…maybe one day i might blog about it 🙂 but we live in a kingdom that measures not according to this world…where a cup of cold water has value…the least is the greatest…to become mature we must be come like a child…it is hard when this physical world we live in screams the complete opposite at us…but He rewards what is done in secret…I find it interesting..when we get praise from others…He says we receive our reward…why do we long for what others reward us with more than desiring those words from the Lord…it’s just our human condition… so thankful to a patient and kind God who understands our fallen nature and has all the grace we need to continue to grow Up/down to be more like Him. Keep picking up…wiping noses…ministering under your roof…sitting with Him…He does see …He does count…and those treasures you laying up…He treasures too.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      You are write. It is our humanness. I think if we could see, really see, we would understand our greatest pursuit really is God and there is none other that could fully satisfy like Him.

  • http://www.wildflowerthinking.blogspot.com/ Janet

    I needed to read this message today, Michele-Lyn. Thank you for encouraging me. Enjoy a blessed day!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      I’m so glad it was timely. It’s definitely a work still going on in my heart.

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/ Barbie

    Oh friend, thank you! I’m there, in that place of quiet. I long for my voice to be heard, yet He keeps me in stillness. And I want nothing more than to please Him as I sit before Him doing what only He can see. Love you!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      I hope you are finding your rest and renewal. I pray God speaks to your heart words that heal and bring new life.

      • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/ Barbie

        Thank you friend! <3

  • http://kriscamealy.com/ Kris Camealy

    yes, this. Thank you for pursuing the small, and the quiet, and reminding me that really, THAT’s where it’s at. That’s where I can hear Him the best. Love you–See you SOON!!!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      It can be a very lonely place at times… It’s where I’m learning He is enough.

  • http://ashliewrites.com/ Ashlie

    Yes. His joy and His pleasure…that’s what I want. Thankful for the ways you challenge and encourage at the same time. This stuff – it’s truth and it’s the kind that brings the freedom we don’t know we’re missing. He is counting…I needed that. Love you.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      I believe the question He asked me, I still haven’t answered fully yes to. It’s not an easy yes, and there is still so much God has to work out, so He can pour back in.