When we think of success, we often think of it in terms of money, our career, or even romance. The problem is that our earthly view does not always align to how God views success. I know that I spent the majority of my life chasing the world’s view of success, only to fail in a massive way. As I have shifted my view away from the world, and toward God, I have found a level of inner peace, and a different view on what success truly is.
Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. —John 7:18
God wants us first and foremost to look to Him. He is our Father and the one with the master plan. If we are depending on ourselves and looking to our own selfish ambition, we will miss the many blessings that God has for us.
Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.” —John 8:54
In order to be successful in the eyes of God, we must follow Him regardless of the outcome. While we may view the consequences of what He is asking as punitive, or that they would make us look “unsuccessful” in the eyes of the world, God’s plan is perfect, and we as humans can not comprehend all that He is doing. We must relinquish control and succumb to His will.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but Yours be done.” —Luke 22:42
When we are in God’s will and following His lead, He often rewards us. Furthermore, He will also serve as a protector to those who walk under Him.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. —Matthew 6:33
He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless. —Proverbs 2:7
At other times, success comes in the form of learning humility. God may call upon us to do things that we view as menial, but serving God can itself be a form of success.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” —Mark 9:35
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. —John 13:14–16
Finally, God tell us that, if we are aligned in our actions to Him, He will help us succeed.
Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. —Proverbs 16:3
So the questions before us are: How will we view success? Will we continue to chase success as the world views it, or will we submit to the will and plan of God? True success in life depends upon our answer.