Summary: What is the price of success, what does one have to pay to be blessed?
If I were to ask how many of you would like to be successful, I would be surprised if there was one who would decline the opportunity and live life in failure. We all want to experience success in its varying degrees. Success comes at the end of a great struggle. Success is only success because it relates to the struggle, it is the reward God gives to the diligent who, through perseverance obtain the promise. There is no way to receive what God has for your life without fighting the obstacles and challenges that block your way to conquest. In fact, people who procrastinate do so because they are desperately trying to find a way to reach their goals without going through the struggle.
When you have accomplished a goal, it leads you to another rung in the ladder of life. And as you advance, it becomes increasingly difficult to be successful without finding other people who will be offended by your success, they are offended by what God has done in your life, "Cain’s children" for like their father Cain, they will murder you because you have God’s favor. They will not rejoice when you rejoice, they cannot be glad for they believe your success came at their expense, for they foolishly believe you have obtained the blessing God had for them. And there is no diplomacy that can calm a jealous heart. They don’t want to pay the price you have paid, but they want to have what you have gained.
In Genesis 4:6-7, it reads, "And the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."
I want to touch on this as I speak about blessings, because I have become amazed at the relationships that are lost as people travel upward. When people are in the days of small beginnings, they are found acceptable, but as they accelerate into new dimensions, cynicism eats at the fibers of their conversations. Cain’s children will invite you into their field to destroy you. Your enemy will not wound you because you are too far away, in order to be a good Judas, he must be at the table with the victim of his betrayal.
Capture this picture with me. Here Jesus is at the heighth of His career, sitting at the table with John the beloved on one side, and Judas the betrayer on the other. The problem is discerning which is which. One of them is close enough to lay his head on your breast, and the other with enough access to betray you with a kiss. Both intimate, one is lethal. And in the midst of success, you must depend on the Lord to keep whatever he has committed into your hands there to accomplish its purpose. Keep your affections on the Giver not on the gift.
God wants to bless you, but understand, the more you have or own, the more you are responsible for it. People who have no car have no need for gas. To be honest, being blessed is hard work. Everything God gives you requires maintenance. God gave man the garden, but he still had to work it. There is a down side to every blessing, that is why Jesus said in Luke 14:28-30, "No man builds without counting the cost." You must ask yourself if you are willing to pay the price to get the blessing. Another question people seldom ask themselves is whether they are willing to endure the criticism and the ridicule that comes with success. Just ask Bill Gates.