“Success from seeking first the Kingdom of God is the success where we experience divine pleasure.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 9, 2022
Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful. Deuteronomy 8:18, NLT
Success from seeking first the Kingdom of God is the success where we experience divine pleasure. All other competing pleasures come from seeking kingdoms inferior to the one and only King Jesus. As long as the applause of one’s admirers tickles his ears, he will remain deaf to heaven’s rejoicing. Success at any cost offers a costly trade off. We can be successful in our own strength and ask the Lord to bless our efforts after the fact and in the process build our little fiefdom, while a fake faith in God labors for our will to be done, not His. Success at any cost is costly: relationally, emotionally and spiritually as our neglected soul starves to death and our ego thrives, out of control…thankfully, success from God generates power for His Kingdom.
Moses wisely addresses success by starting with God…Remember the Lord your God. Remember what? Here are a few things to remember. Remember that the Lord is the owner of your life, who gives you the wisdom to work smart and the energy to work hard. Remember the doors of opportunity open and close on the hinges of the Holy Spirit’s discernment and direction. Remember that your relationship with Jesus Christ is foundational for His character to completely transform your being in a manner that your integrity allows you to handle success in a healthy way as you leverage your accomplishments to benefit and serve others for God’s glory!
“He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy” (Deuteronomy 8:17).
Pride likes to take credit, as much as ego enjoys being the center of attention. An elevated self relishes in the false sense of having all the answers and seeking to be the focal point in conversation. Ego whispers in a deceptive tone to the mind and emotions, you only need to pay attention to another for what she can contribute to your agenda and your planned out scheme, otherwise let her go or even worse, ignore the relationship, until it dies a slow death—victimized by deception. Self-congratulations for achievements in life suck life from everyone around. Sadly, the one taking credit has deceived himself that it’s all about him, when in fact all success is from the Lord God.
To protect yourself from delusional thinking, pray, “I will seek you Lord, not success.” The beauty of God’s divine economy is the right success follows a soul that seeks first the Kingdom of God. In the sixth century, St. Benedict (the one who codified the monastic movement) said the only requirement for a monk’s admission is that they “truly seek God.” Pride seeks with an enlarged ego to serve self, while humility seeks with a whole heart to serve others. Thus, seek trust over security, value modesty over status, pursue character growth over selfish ambition and celebrate team achievements over individual accomplishments. Rest and rejoice in your beloved-ness in Christ over a quest to be defined by your career. Less of you, more of God brings success!
“My thoughts are not your thoughts; my ways are not your ways…As high as the heavens are from the earth so are my thoughts above your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9).
Heavenly Father, I acknowledge and praise you as the giver and sustainer of success in my life, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Where do I need to stop striving in my own strength for success and wait on God and others to celebrate with them and credit them for success in my life?
Sarah Hart: Drawn to You
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