Everyone wants to succeed. I’ve yet to run into an exception to that statement. Our definition of success may vary, but at the end of the day, we all want to feel we’ve been successful in our endeavors. Above all else, followers of Jesus want to succeed in following in His footsteps. Success for us means we have been obedient to Him, have loved and served others well, and have glorified Him with our thoughts, words, and actions. But many feel as if they aren’t succeeding in their walk with Christ. They wonder how they might do better, or what they could change in order to succeed. Successfully following Jesus isn’t about trying harder, but rather simply being obedient.
We will never succeed until we are ready to fail. Until we are ready to lose everything for the sake of Christ, we will not be ready to gain anything. God is looking for people who value Him above all else. That means as long as we are concerned with what others might think of us, we are not yet in a place where God can fully use us. Our focus must always be on Him. When we look in any other direction, we’ve already lost. Appearing foolish in the eyes of others must be something we’re willing to do. God sometimes asks us to do things that look absolutely crazy and embarrassing, but as long as it brings glory to Him we must be willing to do it.
To be successful in the eyes of God, we must also be willing to obtain no honor ourselves. No matter how great our accomplishment, if our desire is to exalt ourselves, we will not find true success. This life, everything about it, is all about glorifying God. It’s never about us, and a sure sign of being off track is when we start enjoying our own accolades. Everything we do is about Him. Don’t get caught in the trap of self-glorification. Remember, it’s not about you.
We will know we are succeeding in our walk with God when we are no longer discouraged by defeat. After all, we know that God has already won the war. We will lose battles along the way. When we are doing everything for the cause of Christ, we won’t wallow in our failure any more than we will gloat in our success. Kept in its proper perspective, a failure is nothing but a learning opportunity, and we can glorify God in our supposed defeat.
In Kingdom terms, we are ready to succeed when we cease to care whether our attempts end in success or failure as long as God is glorified along the way. When everything we do is done for the purpose of furthering the mission of Christ, we have found true success. It’s something we will never achieve as long as we are concerned with how we look in the eyes of the world. Once we care only about living obediently, we are truly ready to succeed.