Power. Wealth. Prestige. Good looks. Education. Possessions. These are all ways in which the world defines success. However, success from God’s perspective is diametrically opposed to this world’s definition of it. Those who are successful in God’s eyes may be blessed with some of the aforementioned, but success God’s way is based on how submitted to and dependent one is on the Lord.
And more than that, God does not even call His children to be successful as that is relegated to God’s domain of responsibility (1 Corinthians 3:6; Proverbs 16:3). He calls us to be faithful to Him, His Word, and His leading in our lives and to leave the subsequent results up to Him. The concept is simple; yet, personal application is not always so….at least that is often my experience.
Isaiah was a faithful prophet who consistently proclaimed God’s messages of confrontation to God’s people with very little success humanly speaking. Jeremiah was as well, yet experienced not only his message being rejected, but himself as well as he was spurned by family, rulers, acquaintances and so on. Yet God honored His faithful prophets and just as importantly – they honored Him! Faithful, yet seemingly unsuccessful, efforts have also been the experience of many faithful Christians throughout the annals of time into our current day.
So let’s focus on your little corner of the world. If you currently find yourself struggling in your desire to help others because success often seems evasive or transitory, let me encourage you! If you are surrendered to the Lord and allowing Him to live in and through you, then you ARE being “successful” in God’s eyes. Timing and results belong to Him; glorifying and honoring him through surrender, trust, and faithfulness belongs to us. Armed with and set free by the truth (John 8:32), let us be faithful to do our part as He will most assuredly do His!!
Melissa Smith is the Women of Character Coordinator at America’s Keswick. She has the privilege and honor of ministering to the colony men’s wives and girlfriends, the Barbara’s Place women, and some women from the community who God brings to America’s Keswick for help or care. She and Bill, her husband of 18 years, have four adopted children ages 17 to 24. Her fervent desire is to point women to Christ and His sufficiency, provision, and promises.