Psalm 146:2 "I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Success in God's Eyes

So we all get these ideas in our heads of what success looks like in the Christian life and ministry--some people think it looks like the pastor that has the huge congregation, being respected  by the Christian community,  seeing people come to Christ, etc.

Ok a slight aside: There isn't anything necessarily wrong with these things,--again it depends and goes back to motives and what the source is. A big thing our culture needs to know today is that numbers do not necessarily equal success--is the big church big because it has solid biblical teaching and the believers are truly seeking after God, or is the church big because it is just a bunch of fluff that itching ears want to hear with a lack of scriptural content? Remember Jesus focused his life and ministry investing deeply in the twelve. Being respected in the Christian community isn't bad--but from what source of strength has the individual lived and why are they respected?. Seeing people come to Christ or being used to share Christ is an awesome privilege-and we should do so---but who brought the results? Sure God may have used you to share the gospel and build into someone's life, but the Holy Spirit did the work of bringing that person to the place where they trusted Him. So, it all depends-we have to be careful how we view things because the world's values and ideas can get so mixed up in our thinking and we may not always realize it.  

What is God's idea of success in the believer's walk and life? At least partially it is this: Do we faithfully abide and remain in Him? Do we allow ourselves to be a channel that He could work in and through?

This old hymn says it this way:

Words: Mary E. Max­well
Music: Ada R. Gibbs, Twen­ty-Four Gems of Sac­red Song, 1900

Verse 1
How I praise Thee, precious Savior,
That Thy love laid hold of me;
Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me
That I might Thy channel be.

Channels only, bless├Ęd Master,
But with all Thy wondrous power
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us
Every day and every hour.
Verse 2
Just a channel full of blessing,
To the thirsty hearts around;
To tell out Thy full salvation
All Thy loving message sound.

Verse 3
Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me,
A clean vessel in Thy hand;
With no power but as Thou givest
Graciously with each command.

Verse 4
Witnessing Thy power to save me,
Setting free from self and sin;
Thou who boughtest to possess me,
In Thy fullness, Lord, come in.

Verse 5
Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit
Hearts that full surrender know;
That the streams of living water
From our inner self may flow.


The truth is that, most likely, some of us, if we are really honest with ourselves, aren't content with being a channel---we want to "do more," somehow thinking that maybe we can accomplish more in the Christian life. We mistakenly think that being a channel won't accomplish much, which is a lie that we believe.. True success is allowing Christ to live His life through us--and when this happens, more is accomplished by His power at work in us than we could ever imagine.

The last few days, I've started praying before I get involved in work responsibilities or participate in stuff--"Lord, I want You to do this in and through me--with Your strength and not my own," and I notice the difference---not because of me or anything that I do, but all because of Him-and what He does! The glory doesn't go to us as the channel-the glory goes back to THE Source.

The beauty of it all is that it isn't about us---it is abut Him. There is blessing in being a channel. We must abide in Him!

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