Perception of Success
If you have tried dieting, you know that all diets don’t work for everyone. Someone may rave that it’s the best diet ever, and it really does work, it may for them, but not for you. The reason you are unsuccessful with your diet is because you haven’t yet found the one diet that’s meant for you. Success for a believer is similar to going on a diet, you have to try the one that’s meant for you.
There are numerous publications on success, but it won’t work for you, even if many have achieved their success by applying those strategies. Our success as believers in based on the will of God, which we find in the written word of God, the bible, and through the leading of the Holy Spirit. Worldly publications and advice bring us no genuine success. Our success comes only from God. Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34 ESV). Our success is to do the will of God and to accomplish His work.
Godly success is not evaluated and measured based on worldly terms. In fact, many times it’s just the opposite of what the world terms as success. To progress in worldly terms is to be the first or increase in stature, whereas success in Godly terms means, to be last and decrease in stature. “Many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then” (Matthew 19:30 NLT).
Worldly success means a person is the receiver of honour, status and wealth, but godly success is based on generous giving. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38 NLT).
Worldly success takes pride in exalting yourself and showing off merits. Godly success is based on humbling yourself and esteeming others higher than yourself. “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12 NIV). Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3 NLT).
Worldly success states that when you are strong, you are powerful, but godly success states that, when you are weak, then you are strong. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV).
Worldly success is based on great leadership, whereas godly success is based on great servanthood. So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else” (Mark 10: 42-44 NLT).
Success for most people is self-oriented, it’s all about one’s goals, desires and ambitions, whereas success according to God is self-denial. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:24-24 NIV).
Many people are reluctant to follow these scriptural advice as they feel it is unrealistic. They doubt the promises of God, they feel insecure about forsaking the worldly way and following Jesus wholeheartedly. Godly success is based on trusting God and believing in His promises. When you seek God’s Kingdom and trust him wholeheartedly, He takes care of you completely. “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? ‘These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6: 31-33 NLT).
When you are on the right kind of diet, on most occasions you will lose weight, but that doesn’t mean you are a loser, your winning is in the losing. The Kingdom of God operates somewhat backward, it is in the losing we find our true success. Have you ever wondered what it would be like, when one day you stand in front of Almighty God? Most people have misconceptions about God’s judgement.
It is not based on your worldly success, how many gold medals you won, how much wisdom, knowledge or education you acquired? Neither it would be about the wealth you have accumulated. It is not going to be about how influential you have been, nor about how many books you have written, or the numerous demons you have cast away. Many will be surprised knowing that true success was never about them, but all about God.
When Jesus died on the cross, it was all about us. Likewise, our lives are meant to be all about glorifying God, fulfilling His will and purpose for our lives. Live your life then in such a way, that when the day comes and you stand before the Son of God, He would say to you, well done my good and faithful servant, you have succeeded in fulfilling my will and accomplished my purpose for your life. So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:9-10 NIV).