by Tim Leahy
A time honored high school tradition is the “most likely list.” The most likely to succeed, the most likely to get married first; the most likely to … The truth is that nobody sets out to be the most likely to be unsuccessful. That’s because God has created us with the desire to be successful.
This past week we began our 7 week Successful Life Series at The Gathering. Our intent is to accurately communicate how God defines success. Throughout the series we’re using the word “success” as an acrostic to convey what success is.
Logically you would think the One who created us would define success for us. Gratefully He has! However, there are many definitions and ideologies competing to define what success is. Some of these are: The one with the most toys when they die wins. If you’re happy you’re successful. If you’re doing what you want to do you’re successful. If you accomplish what you set out to do, you’re successful. While some of these ideologies have some truth to them, they fall short of God’s definition of success.
God says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matt 16:26 – ESV) God’s point is that it is of no profit to gain everything this world offers if you live, die and spend eternity separated from Him.
The first S in the word Success is “salvation”. So what is salvation? Simply put, it’s understanding that God loves us and created us for Him; that we’re separated from Him because of our sin; that He fixed our separation problem by sending His Son Jesus to die in our place to pay the penalty for our sin, so we could know God and be with Him now and for eternity.
This salvation is obtained when we “believe” (John 3:16) which means to “trust and commit”. To trust that Jesus died for our sins to reconcile us to God, and because of this, we commit our life to living His way.
Salvation is the beginning of a successful journey not the end. How we live after trusting and committing our lives to Jesus determines the level of success we experience during our time on earth and in eternity.
It’s important to understand that success is not a destination, but a journey. It’s the movie of our life, not the snap shots. We all fail and fall, but getting up, learning from it and moving forward God’s way determines the rapidity of success during our journey. Thomas Edison once said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
It’s also important to note that having money, possessions, fame, etc… isn’t a problem; it’s how we use them that can be the problem. All things come from God and should be used for His glory and the good of others. As God’s Word says: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48 –NIV)
To learn more about living successfully God’s way, please click here.