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I think if were all honest today, we would all agree we like to be successful. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy the fruits of a job well done? I know I do. And who would honestly prefer to fail? I would truly hope, no one. It feels good to accomplish things and it feels even better when we are rewarded for doing so. We like to see good results and we like to be able to measure what we’ve done. It’s somewhat engrained in us through our culture. We are very results driven as a society and there is nothing wrong with that. But what measures success? Does it have more to do with the actions we take or of the results of the actions we take? It’s a fair question, and I think the majority of the time, right or wrong, we like to measure success by the results. And our society looks for the obvious… Did you get the raise? Did you climb the business ladder? Did you take the position at the larger church? Show me your accolades and possessions… That’s honestly what most people are looking for to measure your success. And while those aren’t bad things, are those really the ultimate measuring stick for success? As tempting as it is to say, “Sure,” as a child of God, my answer has to be, “No.”
God measures our success by one thing and one thing alone: Obedience. Did we follow His leading and do the thing He called or asked us to do? While the result may at times come in line with society’s measuring stick, there will be times it does not – which is the very reason we cannot base our success off society’s measuring stick. The lure of success through accolades will always be one of the enemy’s greatest tools in veering us away from our destiny. I mean, who doesn’t want a promotion? Who doesn’t want to be a little more comfortable? Can’t I still go to church and live a good life but choose the route I would like to take to be successful? Sure, but you won’t like the result. If you have been a Christian for any time at all, you could probably share several stories where you chose your way instead of God’s and the misery it brought you in the long run. God wants to spare us from those moments. We just have to obey.
The truth is, God created all of us with a call and a specific purpose designed just for us. He also created us with desires and motivations that can only be fulfilled through following Him. We will only find success in seeking Him out and following through with His commands. We weren’t designed to do otherwise. Knowing that, it should makes things a lot easier when it comes to choosing obedience. The problem is, our flesh will often times have a greater desire for the approval of men and personal comfort versus the approval of God and having to walk by faith. It’s hard to measure success by faith, especially when we don’t always see the immediate results of saying yes to God. And especially when saying yes means so much unknown. We lose control and have to give it to Him. But that’s ok. It gives Him a chance to work miracles in our lives. And while obedience may not always equal what we want, it always equals what we need. And while the riches and social status of this world are tempting, they can never fulfill us. But the thing that can is the perfect peace that can only come from being where He wants us. It’s the promises of protection and knowing He will never leave us nor forsake us. It’s the promises that He will help meet our every need. It’s also the rich blessings that fulfill us in ways the world never can or will.
God is so good to us and He truly desires for us to be successful too. He wants us in our purpose. He wants us fulfilled. What father wouldn’t? And the reward for following Him will be unmatched because no one can out-give or out-reward God. Choose obedience today, friends. You will never regret it in the long run. You will always need the very season He is leading you too. Always. Trust Him. He is faithful. And never forget, regardless of the result, obedience always equals success. Amen.
(Isaiah 48:17-18 NET)
This is what the Lord, your protector, says, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you how to succeed, who leads you in the way you should go.
(Deuteronomy 30:8-9 NLT)
Then you will again obey the Lord and keep all his commands that I am giving you today. The Lord your God will then make you successful in everything you do.
(1 Kings 2:3 NLT)
Observe the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go.