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Summary: How the Spirit Guides Us To View Success From God’s Perspective (Phil. 4:12,13)

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How the Spirit Guides Us To View Success From God’s Perspective (Phil. 4:12,13)

Illustration:George MacDonald said, "In whatever man does without God, he must fail miserably or succeed more miserably"

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 42.

1. The Holy Spirit gives us the wisdom and the adaptability to see our situations more from God’s evaluative perspective. Paul wrote, "I know how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without any being in want. I can do everything God asks me to do the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power." (Phil. 4:12,13)

Quote: Rudyard Kipling once wrote, "Failure and success - treat them for what they are - imposters." Ask the Lord to help you grow in realization that your situation is not as bad as you might think or as successful as it might appear.

2. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome temptations to become discouraged by setbacks or to allow ourselves to grow proud during times of success. The Spirit of God transforms our thinking, emotions and perceptions to see how God can use setbacks for our best interests. Similarly, the Holy Spirit gives us the grace to keep from becoming too self-sufficient, prideful or obsessed with achieving success. Isaiah learned that both setbacks and successes are given to us through the sovereign power of God. Isaiah wrote, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8,9) Ask the Lord to help you gain greater deliverance from the evils of selfish pride. Trust God to lead you away from the temptations to allow yourself to grow discouraged, frustrated or weary in well doing.

Illustration:Someone once asked Paul Harvey, the journalist and radio commentator, to reveal the secret of his success. "I get up when I fall down," said Harvey.

Bits & Pieces, March 3, 1994, p. 16.

3. The Holy Spirit helps us to avoid setting our expectations too low or too high. Paul wrote, "For the grace given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought (not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance), but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him." (Rom. 12:3) Ask the Lord to help you set your personal, relational and ministry expectations according to the degree of grace God gives

Illustration: What is success? In my book, one ingredient of success is meaningful time with my children. As a friend of mine observed, "I have yet to hear of anyone who, on his deathbed, wished he’d spent more time at the office."

Joseph Stowell, Moody Monthly.

4. The Holy Spirit helps you from over reacting to bad or good circumstances. Only the Spirit of God can give us the right sense of self-control when we run into adversity or prosperity. Ask God to help you not over reacting to negative or positive conditions in your personal health, relationships or ministries.

Illustration:During his term as President of the U.S., Lyndon Johnson was somewhat overweight. One day his wife challenged him with this blunt assertion: "You can’t run the country if you can’t run yourself." Respecting Mrs. Johnson’s wise observation, the President lost 23 pounds.

5. The Holy Spirit teaches us that failures are never final and successes are never ending. Ask the Lord to help you see your mistakes and victories less in the terms of the immediate and more in the light of eternity.

Illustration:You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-term failures.

Charles Noble.

6. The Holy Spirit convicts us that many other people have been disqualified from leadership as a result of giving into feelings of defeat or gloating about their victories. The Spirit reminds us of how Samson fell because he thought his series of victories would carry him through out his life. The Holy Spirit makes us feel guilty when we are feeling sorry for ourselves, like Job, that we are tempted to miss out on the greater blessings that lie ahead of us. Ask the Lord to help you to avoid being disqualified as a result of giving into feelings of defeat or over confidence.

Illustration:Theodore Roosevelt said, "The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything." Edison spent more than $100,000 to obtain 6000 different fiber specimens, and only three of them proved satisfactory. Each failure brought him that much closer to the solution to his problem. His friend Henry Ford was right when he said that failure was the "opportunity to begin again, more intelligently."

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