God’s Definition of Success

My wife and I have taken to recording American Idol and love watching someone rise up from obscurity and be given the opportunity that most will never have. One of the more depressing aspects of the show is watching people who have a dream but no talent. Many take it in stride but many others grow angry and seem stupefied that they didn’t make the cut. Sometimes a little honest introspection can go a long way, a reality check if you will. When our plans however are actually God’s plans we don’t have to worry about making it to the next round, whatever God called us to He will enable us for. His plans are better and the results more lasting. There is nothing wrong with having personal dreams to excel in a sport, business or education, but we have to be real, don’t audition for American Idol if you can’t sing! But if you have to try, don’t blame God if you fail, get a new dream, one with His glory in mind, but use the same wisdom. I saw the same thing in years of worship leading that people who couldn’t sing wanted to be on the worship team. Could God have given them a voice to use for His glory? Of course He could, but in 9 years of being part of the worship ministry at a very large church, I never saw it happen and I haven’t seen it happen in the 16 plus years at our current church. The point is don’t “christianize” the same dreams that led to disappointment in your flesh. 

Some may be thinking, I don’t want to get a new dream, what if it’s just not my time and my dream is going to be fulfilled sooner or later. This is a valid question and we do not want to be that person who stops digging inches away from the mother load. Let me say this; as a Christian you do not have to worry about that. Our bigger concern is remaining useable.

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Romans 11:29  

God doesn’t operate like some bosses in the world, He doesn’t make promises He has no intention of keeping to get you to do something He wants, when He calls it is; to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13) and He will use you for His glory in ways you could never imagine. So think big, dream big. Don’t just settle for lesser dreams like winning a Superbowl or pitching in the World Series. Those things are great moments in someones life, but they are just moments, you have to live a lifetime. Your life is more than 4 quarters or 9 innings, or a single game or great moment. That means there will have to be something more substantial in your life than momentary accolades from temporary success. (Sorry ladies for all the masculine illustrations, but I am a guy) If God allows you such a great moment, make sure you have dreams bigger than that one to hang onto when the moment passes.

Life’s disappointments do not have to lead to discouragement and despair, they can lead to new hopes and dreams and even turning mourning into dancing. One thing I know for sure, no one who  arrives in heaven will wish they had done more for themselves and less for God, but everyone who arrives in heaven will feel exactly the opposite. They’ll wonder why they dreamed so small, why they set their sights so low. They’ll wonder that even if they did win the big game while here on earth, they’ll wonder that whether their name is on their shirt or their name is on the side of the building, they’ll wonder if everyone in the world knows their name or no one does. The fact is we will never feel like “There has to be more than this” when our lives are dedicated to fulfilling God’s will. Some of the most miserable people I have ever met are those who are the most successful in the worlds eye. They have what many wish they had but they don’t have what is better than all that they have. The hope of heaven.

Some of our Disappointment, Discouragement and Despair can come from using the wrong dictionary when it comes to defining success or accomplishment. In an age where we are constantly being bombarded with what success wears, drives, vacations and we are even blasted with emails about the habits of successful people. Whose dictionary are they using when they define success? Are the habits they are touting as success makers going to bring you real success, or just success according to their dictionary. I love the saying I read recently that said; Some people are so poor, all they have is money. 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Joshua 1:8

According to God’s definition a successful person is a someone who focuses on living according God’s word all the time and tries to do the things written in it. A successful man is one who loves his wife as Christ loves the church if he is married. A successful woman is one who views virtue as being prosperous. A successful person in God’s economy is not measured by their check book, but by God’s book. Many of our Disappointments, Discouragements and Despairing’s would be eliminated just by getting a new definition success and prosperity.

Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.

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