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The Standard For Success

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Our fall from grace can be seen when our personal ambition reigns supreme in our lives. It becomes apparent when we push to do what we want, regardless of God's desire for us. This kind of ambition can be very deceptive. It is always driven and directed by goals we want to accomplish. When our efforts lack God's blessing on them, we must complete those tasks as best we can with our own talents and abilities.

Today each of us is expected to be a "person on the go" to keep up with society's expectations for excelling. From our youth, we are conditioned to think that education and hard work are the most important ingredients for success. Although these two elements are certainly helpful, they are meaningless if they are not directed by the influence of the Holy Spirit.

On the other hand, vision is that which can be accomplished only with God's help and strength. Proverbs 37:4 tells us, "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (NKJV). When the Lord places His desire within our hearts, then our desire is centered on what He wants. God gives grace to us when we live by vision, His vision, not self-ambition!

Many people have mistakenly placed their ambition on a vision God gave to someone else. God's provision and grace are abundant for the person who was given the vision. But the one, who pursues someone else's vision, as though it were his goal, will have to do it alone.

Of course, this is not to say that good things have not been done by ambitious people. I have known many people whose personal drive produced very impressive results. There have even been ministries who have erected great buildings and have completed notable projects by the hard work and ambition of an individual. But if mere ambition and human effort brought the achievement, it will take more of the same to sustain it, since God's power is not its source of origin. Jesus said, "Human effort accomplishes nothing" (John 6:63 NLT).

The Apostle Paul ran into this with the church at Galatia. They began their walk with the Lord by following the Spirit but someone had influenced them. He said: "How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?" (Galatians 3:3 NLT).

Success in the Kingdom of God is measured by a standard different from the world's standard. Success in the world is determined by the size of a project or the money involved. But success in His Kingdom is based solely on who has told us to do what we are doing. God's blessing does not rest on our ambitious accomplishments, but on the vision He gives us.

  • Excerpt from the
    Paperback Book
    Help! It's Dangerous Out Here

    Help! It's Dangerous Out Here

    Psalm 91 boldly declares “a thousand may fall at your side,” but evil will not come near us—if we trust in God. In the face of alarming newscasts rife with mass shootings, terrorist threats and unpre... read more

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