This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
From Dallas Willard in The Divine Conspiracy:
Intense devotion to God by the individual or group brings substantial outward success. Outward success brings a sense of accomplishment and a sense of responsibility for what has been achieved – and for further achievement. For onlookers the outward success is the whole thing. The sense of accomplishment and responsibility reorients vision away from God to what we are doing and are to do – usually to the applause and support of sympathetic people. The mission increasingly becomes the vision. It becomes what we are focused upon. The mission and ministry is what we spend our thoughts, feelings, and strength upon. Goals occupy the place of the vision of God in the inward life, and we find ourselves caught up in a vision-less pursuit of various goals. Grinding it out.