This weekend I was watching Drive Thru History with Dave Stotts on TBN. In this episode Stotts took the viewer through ancient Middle East where Paul would have been addressing the city of Corinth (I and II Corinthians). At the end of the episode Stotts made a profound point about how the Greek gods that the people of Corinth were serving and the monumental temples that they built for these gods eventually became nothing more than historic ruins and, “the mythology of high school textbooks,” but the words that Paul was writing to the Corinthians not only endured that time period, but are still changing lives today.
This observation really stuck with me. Paul was actually writing I and II Corinthians to address that specific group of people about specific issues that were occurring in that very time. It’s kind of like how Moses was called to address Pharaoh specifically about the racial injustice in Egypt in the book of Exodus.
The Holy Bible is filled with stories of people being obedient to God’s call in order to address what seem to be immediate issues. But (unbeknownst to many of them) their obedience transcended their own time period, became the Word of God and still continues to lead people towards the Kingdom of God even in 2017. Whoa! That is so cool to me!
As I thought about how one person’s obedience during their own life can affect generations and people throughout the world and throughout time, God began to redefine success as I had prior understood it.
What is success?
Some say money…some say fame…some say happiness or all of the above. But I believe success is something much greater. I believe success is when your life’s work can never turn into ruin (like the temples of the Greek gods). True success means the influence and outcome of your life will steer people towards God. I have figured, this type of success can only be developed through obedience to God.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2 Cor. 4:6-7
This treasure, the gifts and the ultimate destiny that God has placed inside of us is not just for us…
“A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men,” Proverbs 18.16
…but more importantly for others to come to know who God is.
This is crucial to understand, because when a soul is saved, a life is destined for eternity in heaven, written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. This means the result of your obedience which allows someone to look towards Jesus has an eternal impact.
Your obedience to God has an ETERNAL IMPACT….that is what I call a successful life.
On the contrary, the works that we do for fame and fortune or pride or greed or lust will ultimately fade away.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” 1 Pet. 3:10
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,” Rev. 21:1 (a)
Furthermore, success fueled by these sinful motivations will have eternal consequences.
“Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Rev. 21:7-8
So how have you been gauging success? I think we shoud be measuring success not by how many dollars we make, but whether or not we are being obedient. Asking questions like, am I doing what God has called me to do? Going where he wants me to go, staying where he wants me to stay…saying what he wants me to say?
The word of God is a great road map for Finding Direction. And when you are obedient to his will for your life, the impact you have will exceed anything you could ever imagine…and it will never fade away.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Eph. 3:20-21
On Creating Your Most Fulfilling Life