The Key to Success.
By the time we reach adulthood, we are typically very apprehensive about one question. What is the key to success? As Americans we have been taught that true success can and will always be measured by social status or in dollar bills. The more money we acquire, the more successful we will be. The more followers/ likes/ views on social media we have the more success we appear to have. The more larger my voice in my community, the more influential or successful I must be. With this in mind, my goal in life will become to make as much money as I can. By any means necessary. Or increase my social platform, because the next best thing to one million dollars is one million followers.
So where does God fit into the mix? Specifically your relationship with God. The Christian is burdened with the same natural burdens as non Christians. We have wives, we have husbands, we have children, we have jobs/ careers, we have mortgages/ rent, we have car payments, we have bills. We all want to be successful just like the rest of the world. It's not as though when we gave our lives to the Lord Jesus, God paid our debts and made us oblivious to the issues of life. We have a similar desire in our hearts to make money, support our families and be debt free. We want people to like our posts and follow our social media pages. This is a natural desire and so it is universally shared. However we have something in us which conflicts with our natural desire for success. This is where the Christian differs from the non Christian.
The Christian man or woman is indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God. I know some of your eyebrows raised. Perhaps your bottom lip did the "hhmmmm" thing. Please stay with me. Whereas the natural (non Christian) man is concerned with how to please himself, the Christian man is primarily concerned with how he will please God. This is where we find conflict.
"The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed it cannot." Romans 8:7
The Christian still has a natural desire for success as described above but is also burdened with obedience to the will of God. But the burden isn't one of despair and discomfort. The burden of Christ is a light load which in turn comforts the faithful. It's a unique phenomena in which the individual who takes on this burden is in turn lifted up by God. So what seems to the natural man to be a weight, to those who are spiritual is actually a float. This is the beauty of cross of Christ. What was meant to snuff out and kill Jesus, only raised him higher. His ultimate defeat of sin and death could not have occurred had the cross not come first. So what seemed to be the death of God, proved to be the greatest moment in human history.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33 ESV
Success for the Christian is no different. There are moments in life which seem to be set backs. You are planning to start grad school and all of a sudden you and your husband are expecting another baby. That baby was not in the plan! Or you are hoping for a raise only to find out due to the company being bought, they have to lay off some people and you are at the top of the list. So much for the Dodge Challenger you had your eyes on. I believe these moments come in order to remind us of one truth. Success is not about dollar bills, or the acquisition of the most stuff. The natural person seeks this type of gratification to give themselves a sense of worth or security. However, the Christian is secured through their faith in Jesus Christ. We find our worth in Christ who literally paid for our sins with his blood. We are successful by simply continuing to trust God to sustain us through faith In Christ Jesus. As long as we remain focused on God, he promises we will have good success wherever we go.
“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:7 ESV