Monday, May 10, 2021

When Success Actually Means That You Failed

When Success Actually Means That You Failed 

Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” Exodus 33:15 

It is possible to experience success and yet be void of God's presence. If success is what is important to you, you may be tempted to choose accomplishments over your relationship with God. God offered to send an angel with the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land to ensure their success in every venture. No army could withstand them. No city wall could stop them. The wealth of the land lay before them. Everything they had ever dreamed of appeared to be theirs for the taking. The only thing missing would be the presence of God. God said they were an obstinate people, and He would not go with them when their hearts were far from Him. The Israelites’ experience reveals that victory and great accomplishments are not necessarily a sign of God's presence. Do not assume that your good health, your profitable business, or the growth of your ministry is due to the presence of God. It may be that you have inadvertently chosen success over your walk with the Lord. Moses wisely concluded that success, no matter how great, is not a substitute for fellowship with God. Moses knew how quickly worldly achievements could disappear. His security came from his relationship with God. Success in the world's eyes is not a sign of God's blessing. It may, in fact, indicate that you have chosen a substitute for intimate fellowship with God. Would you be satisfied to have success, power, and wealth, but not a relationship with God? Do you value God's presence in your life more than the greatest achievements you could experience in the world?  
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Most of my life I have heard about how I should put great emphasis on making a lot of money.  I see people all the time touting on how to get there.  I achieve something and usually someone has to say something about they hope that I get a large bonus from the company for it.

Success isn't for us in this world in the way in which the world defines it.

Indeed look at what Moses could have had. Look at what Joseph could have had. Look at the lives of people, of prophets, of Kings in the Bible...look at what they could have had, had the Lord not been interested in keeping His Word. 

Great amounts of money mean nothing to me.  Success? It's not measured in coins or dollar bills. In Christ success is what has been achieved when obedience happens.  Not when we push this world around to get what we want out of life. 

It's not about you accumulating enough wealth in order to take it easy the rest of your life.  As another devotional said this morning a self-centered life is the opposite of the Christian life.  I know, or should say as well, knew very few people who stay obedient to Christ unto death.  I knew of a few who were about the Father's business right up til they died.  The man behind two of the most popular audio versions of the Bible died within days of completing the second version he had been working on. Until the last, Dr. John C. Whitcomb was still working on imparting what he knew to paper for future people to learn from about God. He never let his being fired from Grace Theological Seminary stop him. He saw greater success after that in being able to reach more of the world than he ever could while employed there through the Christian Workman School of Theology.  

You and I can easily be swayed into the world's version of success. To have THAT car, to have THAT great amount of money. To have THAT kind of children and spouse. To have THAT kind of home. THOSE kinds of vacations and summer places.  To be in Christ is to deny yourself take up your cross and follow Him. Where in all of that do we remotely get all THAT kind of selfishness?  Indeed it is possible to be blessed with all of those things but all those things shouldn't be what we desire first and foremost.  King Solomon was blessed the most of any man on Earth. Yet it didn't stop him from sinning.  He was supernaturally blessed of the Lord in wisdom.  Yet still his sin nature took advantage of him.  Soon after his death civil war broke out.  All the greatness of his beginning years as King washed away in a few short years. 

Success in God's eyes is everything to do with obedience. It all about seeking what God's wanting of us and doing it.  We indeed may not see worldly happiness in the process.  Many Christians live their whole lives in apparent misery yet are fulfilling what has been the plan of God for them. The plan and purpose is to reach others for Christ.  The hastening of the day of the Lord only comes through obedience of His People.  Not simply from praying for it and looking for it. 

What are you doing to be less about yourself and more about what Jesus wants of you?  

I have been described as a troubled man, by so-called pastors no less.  I will not use this forum to call them out.  They have to answer to God for what they have said and done towards people like me.  I am not a troubled man, I cannot help but buck the world system on how to live. The world puts emphasis on money, success at the expense of others, puts idolatry high on the list of things that are most important. The same who look down on struggling believers are missing what Scripture says is the hallmark of a believer. In this world we would have tribulations. We will face temptation and face opposition to obedience to God.  I COULD follow after the ways of the world in terms of success but what would be the cost?

What is it costing you?

What has happened to your relationship with Jesus because of what you say is most important to you?  In a marriage when one spouse persists on being more important than the other, that marriage doesn't last.  That's what selfishness gets you. Broken relationships. Scripture says to prefer one another above ourselves.  Are you?  

Is your status on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp or LinkedIn more important that how you look in God's eyes? 

Have you spent your life trying to accumulate so much that you have missed out on the blessings of pointing people to Jesus?

These are things you need to answer.  Perhaps today is the day you stop n look at just what useless things you have done or are doing in order to achieve worldly success. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. 

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