When God’s Will Isn’t Good Enough


Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken

Some time back Lynna came to me and said, “What do I have to do to make you content?”

I was stunned by her question.  For one thing I hadn’t realized I was that discontented.  For another, I didn’t understand that she had taken on my discontent as a problem for her to solve. I certainly wasn’t discontented with her.  She was great.  My discontentment was with God.  I didn’t like His will for me.  It wasn’t what I expected when I responded to His call to serve Him.  It wasn’t good enough for me.

It pains me to say this.  In fact it shames me to acknowledge that I wasn’t happy with what God had for me.  But it’s true.

The problem with God is that He doesn’t feel obligated to tell us what He’s doing with us.  He wants us to trust Him as He works through us and uses us in His silence to make a powerful impact.  Once in a while He draws back His curtain just enough to let us know that He’s working, but most of the time we serve in the dark, hoping and trusting that He’s using us, but never being sure, while the guy we went to seminary with or the gal who sat next to us in a course we took rises in impact and visibility.  They’re getting what we want—what we expected to attain.  Why aren’t we getting that too?  It’s not so much that they’re getting it; it’s that I’m not getting it.  What’s wrong with me?  I’m working hard.  I’m praying more than ever.  I’m sacrificing everything for Him.  I can’t do anything more!

Well, in fact, you and I both can do more, much more.  We can submit to His not good enough will for us and say yes to Him when we want to say no.

I did that and actually became content (I’m not sure what Lynna would say, but I think I did).  And do you know what God did when I became content?  He took my position away and led me from contentment into confusion and uncertainty—and then into bigger vistas than I could ever possibly imagine.

You know what I discovered once I stepped back and became content?  All that time that I was discontent God was working through me to impact others and bring glory to Him.  I just didn’t know it because I was too focused on what I didn’t see happening to see what He was doing.  

Here’s my encouragement to you as a leader if you’re discontented with God’s will for your life.  Confess your discontentment to God as the sin it is, say yes when you want to say no, trust Him to do good in and through you, and ask Him to open your pride darkened eyes so you can see how great His grace is in you.  Then you will be a contented leader used by God in ways you could never imagine.

From ("When God's Will Isn't Good Enough" on

Bill Lawrence is the President of Leader Formation International, Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he served full-time for twenty-four years (1981-2005). During this time he also was the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership for twelve years.