Wednesday, December 03, 2014


I am driven by the desire to be successful. Aren't we all?

Success is a slippery word. It's entirely subjective. Successful at what, and according to who? How do we know when we have succeeded? How do we know when we have (what's that ugly word? Ah yes...) failed?

Money. Awards. Plaudits. Admiration. Achievements. Surely one of them scratches your itch. We can't help it, we hunger for some concrete measurement that can tell us, convince us, that we are successful.

So when Jesus invites us to enter a new kingdom, an entirely different kingdom that begins the moment we put our story in his hands and continues forever, it changes everything- including success. Romans 12:2 tells us that if we want to discover God's will for us, his pleasing and perfect destiny over our lives, we must change the way we think. The old way of thinking, the values and mentalities of our modern culture, will never get us there. We will not see clearly until we reboot and allow God's spirit to rewire our hard drive, especially regarding success.

In God's Kingdom, there is only one measure of success: his pleasure over our lives.

Set your goals, make your plans. Yet remember, money, awards, plaudits, admiration and achievements, no matter what great deeds acquired them, will disappear like vapor in the wind. All that will remain is you and him.

Luke 10 gives us a profound story. Jesus visits two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha is working hard, making lunch, taking care of responsibilities. Mary, on the other hand, just sits at Christ's feet and listens to him. Jesus tells Martha "You are bothered by so many little things- yet only one thing actually mattered. And your sister Mary figured it out."

We often think our successes- the good stuff we do- will win God's favor. The opposite is true. We must give him our hearts first, must let his presence and affection scratch our "success itch", then go out and do what needs be done.


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