Jul 26, 2011

Tend To Be Driven...or Commit To Be Called

Are you successful?

What is the definition of success?
Is money success? Or fame? Education? Helping others? Being in ministry? Writing a best-seller? Accomplishing _______________ goal?
If those measure success then how will you determine when you have succeeded? How much money makes me successful? How much education before I have arrived? How many people do I have to help? When have I actually achieved my goal? Will that goal be the final goal; will I feel successful when I reach it, or will there be another goal after it?

Fame, money, education, service, even goals are all relative. There will always be someone more educated, more famous, wealthier, more compassionate. There will always be another level of goals to achieve.
There will always be someone more successful.
Which means I am less successful.
Which means I am more of a failure.
Which means I have to work even harder.
Which means I am never content.
There will always be another task to drive me...and drive me...and drive me...until I crash. Until I lose all purpose because I have failed to accomplish the thing that drove me.

If my gauge of success, though, is to do what God called me to do I will be successful based on one thing: Whether I did what He wanted.
To love God is to obey Him. To obey Him is to do His will. To do His will is to succeed. To succeed in eternal work! The only variable in this equation is my choice - will I or won't I. Yes, there will be goals, there will be tasks, there will be work involved in the doing. There may even be problems or times when I fail to reach a desired end. But I will never be a failure if I am in the will of God.

What does it look like?
It means asking God what HE wants me to do. Not picking up tasks because they are expected, or even because they are good things to do. Remember the old saying, "The good is the enemy of the best."

If God called me to be in the business world, and I give it up to go be a youth pastor, THAT is failure...even if I serve many young people, I still missed His grand plan. Everything good I do is what the Bible refers to as dead works.
If I am called to be a youth pastor and give it up to go be in business, I am a failure no matter how much money I make. Better to have been poor and a success in the Kingdom of God, than successful on earth and a failure in heaven.

God may call some to be single while all their friends are getting married. If they can be strong and content; if they can pour out their whole lives into other people, they are successful.
God may call some to be stay at home moms while other women may be ministering around the globe. If they raise their children to serve the Lord with joy and gladness, and run their home with excellence, they are successful!
God may call some to pastor small churches while their companions are CEO's of multi-million dollar companies. If they feed their flock with all devotion and dilligence, they are successful.
God may call a man to invent a product and lead a company while his classmates go on to be missionaries and preachers. He is not a failure in the Kingdom. If he uses his talent to accomplish God's will, if he develops and is diligent with his God-given skill, if he leads those under him with care and compassion, he is a great success.

Our ministry is always to the Lord, first. We are only successful when we have done what He has asked.

*Excerpt from a larger work. More to come.*


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