It was one of those thought-provoking phrases that randomly appears in a conversation. There they are, just two people chattering away, when suddenly –BAM!– a word was said, a lightbulb came on, I did a mental double-take…and have been pondering ever since.
“I don’t have to try to make something of myself. Jesus did that for me on the cross. I just have to follow His lead.”
Admittedly, I was slightly irritated by the sting of conviction I felt upon hearing those words. How many times have I strived to be what me or others would define as successful? How many empty things have I pursued, all in the name of being respected or deemed a valuable person?
Sometimes it seems that I’ve been so busy chasing after my own ideas of success or the ideas that others have placed upon me, that I’ve lost sight of the One really defines my worth. Success ,according to my standards , can look a lot different according to what Jesus deems as important.
*I view myself as successful if I land the lead role in a show.
*The world views me as successful if I have a well-paying job, nice house, and college degree.
*My teacher views me as successful if I turn in my work and maintain a solid GPA.
You get the idea. The list of people and their definitions of success is endless.
Now, none of the above things are bad. It’s great to be the lead in a play, or to be doing well financially, or to make good grades. Those are all things I wouldn’t mind. But, just because those things are good, doesn’t mean they’re what I should be what I spend my time chasing after.
True success is submission to Christ and His leadership over you. Whether that means going to college and getting your degree, being an over-seas missionary, becoming a stay-at-home parent, or running a prosperous company: if you are walking in obedience to Christ, you are successful.
Pleasure, wealth, higher education, popularity–all of those are nice things that can totally be used for good. Still, they all fall terribly short. I can’t bring my impressive resume, numerous party invitations, or hard-earned college degree into Heaven.
Again, God can easily use all of those things for His purposes. But it’s God and His will I need to be pursing, not the tools that He may choose to use in my journey.
God’s calling on our lives is great and lasting. It will make an eternal impact and glorify His name. I mean, isn’t glorifying Jesus what our lives are all about anyway?
I simply need to be humble enough to lay down my ideas, and choose to listen to His. To surrender my life, and submit myself fully to His leadership and plan, wherever He may call me to glorify Him.
It’s slowly beginning to sink in– I really don’t need to strive to fit someone’s idea of success. Jesus took care of that when He made a way for me to be clean before God. What I need to do now is listen, and follow His lead. It’s time for me to hand over the pen, and let Him write the story.
For further reading:(Proverbs 3:5-6, Ephesians 5:15-17, John 12:26)