Summary: Why The Holy Spirit Wants Us To Remember That Success in Human Terms is not as Important as Success in the Eyes of God
Why The Holy Spirit Wants Us To Remember That Success in Human Terms is not as Important as Success in the Eyes of God
Illustration:The figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought which takes success for its standard.
Paul wrote,"My message was not set forth in persuasive (enticing)words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the Holy Spirit and power operating in me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them. So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy) but in the power of God." (I Cor. 2:4,5)
1. The Holy Spirit teaches us that success in human terms is often subject to the relative values of peoples’ cultures. Jesus said, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his own soul." (Mark 8:36)
Example: When Jesus walked the dusty roads of Palestine, many people believed success could be measured by ones’ wealth, status or position of power. However, the Lord Jesus taught that even lowly fishermen like Peter, James and John were successful because they chose to surrender everything and follow the great fisher of men. (Matt. 4:19) Ask the Lord for greater discernment, commitment and trust in the God who has the last say on who is successful.
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.
2. The Holy Spirit teaches us that success in human terms is often fleeting, with time. The Lord Jesus said to the disciples, "When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up? Twelve, they replied. And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up? They answered, ’Seven.’ He said to them, ’Do you still not understand?" (Mark 8:19-21)
Example: The disciples thought that success lay in an event rather than in the person of Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to help you find your success in Jesus Christ - worshipping Him, loving Him, and doing all of His will for His greater glory - therein is eternal success. Paul knew WHOM he had believed and was convinced of eternal rewards.
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.
3. The Holy Spirit teaches us that success means little unless it is lasting. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." (Mark 13:31)
Application: Ask the Lord to help you gain a greater eternal perspective on your relationships, your ministries and your opportunities to make a everlasting success today.
Illustration;When James Garfield (later President of the U.S.) was principal of Hiram College in Ohio, a father asked him if the course of study could be simplified so that his son might be able to go through by a shorter route. "Certainly," Garfield replied. "But it all depends on what you want to make of your boy. When God wants to make an oak tree, He takes a hundred years. When He wants to make a squash he requires only two months."
We are producing too many squashes and not enough oak trees in our day.
Angus J. MacQueen.
4. The Holy Spirit teaches us that human success is ultimately unsatisfying. The Lord Jesus realized that real success is only given from the Father’s supernatural power. Jesus said, "All power and authority have been GIVEN to me." (Matt. 28:18-20)
Application: Ask the Lord to help you lift your perspectives above those of our human nature. Beseech the Lord to help you demonstrate that eternal success is something that is given in terms of qualitative and quantitative spiritual and ministry fruit. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied." (Matt. 5:8)
Illustration:In his book Be Free, Warren W. Wiersby mentioned the fact that young ministers often visited the great British preacher G. Campbell Morgan to ask him the secret of his success. When someone inquired of him what he told these aspiring pastors, Morgan replied, "I always say to them the same thing -- work; hard work; and again, work!" And Morgan lived up to his own advice. He would be in his study every morning at 6 o’clock, finding rich treasures out of his Bible to pass on to God’s people.
Our Daily Bread.
5. The Holy Spirit teaches us that human success is often accompanied by temptations that leads to greater worries, riches and troubles in this life. The Lord Jesus said, "Still, others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful." (Mark 4:18,19) Ask the Lord to help you overcome any temptations that will choke out the power of the word of God in your life thereby hindering you from yielding eternal fruit.