Summary: the degree of success you will experience in life comes from understanding your purpose and fulfilling your true potential.
This newsletter is really about success. I know it says “Purpose” on the top and I keep talking about “true potential,” but the degree of success you will experience in life comes from understanding your purpose and fulfilling your true potential. So, yup, this is really just a success newsletter.
What separates it from most of the other success literature is its point of view. As far as I can tell, there are only two points of view regarding success. The first we’ll call “man-centric,” the second we’ll call “God-centric.” In the first, the universe revolves around man – me in particular. In the second, the universe revolves around its Creator, and I’m just a part of that revolving universe.
For the past few weeks we’ve discussed purpose, potential and success from the God-centric point of view. This week we’ll try to get a handle on success from the man-centric point of view; definitely the more popular as far as success literature is concerned.
The man-centric point of view puts man – me in particular – at the center of all things. Success in these terms means satisfying my needs and desires and fulfilling my own goals and plans; living according to a purpose I have set for myself. The world and everything in it - the universe itself - is defined in terms of how it relates to me. I am the center and all of creation transverses its orbit around me.
Kind of defines the term self-centered doesn’t it? I am the center of my own universe and everything revolves around me. To be fair, this point of view didn’t really start with man; it had its beginnings much earlier. The inventor and chief promoter of this point of view wasn’t a man at all. But it would suit him just fine if all men, you and me included, followed his example.
Lucifer, the father of man’s most popular success program, was put into a position unparalleled in Creation. In effect, Lucifer was a Prime Minister for God. The earth at the least and possibly the entire universe was under his supervision. Ezekiel prophesied of his glorious position:
You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created.
(Ezekiel 28: 12-15)
Lucifer was about as high and lifted up any created being had ever been. He had been put in a position of nearly absolute power; second only to God. His relationship to all of creation was that of superior to subordinate.
There was a problem though. Lucifer in all of his glory and majesty and power and authority mistook his position of Prime Minister with that of Crown Prince. What directly follows the description of Lucifer’s magnificence as the most glorious of all creatures vividly describes the speed and finality of his fall from grace:
… till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.
Isaiah related Lucifer’s fall from grace as well:
How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.
Heaven’s true Crown Prince, Jesus related to his disciples the event to which he was eye-witness: “‘… I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven’” (Luke 10:18).