Searching for Success

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“Every human being is in the process of becoming a noble being; noble beyond imagination.  Or else, alas, a vile being beyond redemption.  The dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare…There are no ordinary people…It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit-immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” – C.S. Lewis[1]

Some find fulfillment in sports, school, science, art, or business. Others struggle to find fulfillment in various pursuits or hobbies. We are all naturally gifted in different ways and seek fulfillment in different ways, but the truth is there is ultimately only one thing we were made for and that one thing is at the core of what it means to be human.

We are meant to find our fulfillment in God and feel His pleasure as we partner with Him in His work. When that happens it unlocks a deep passion in the human soul. God’s work is as varied as the people who do it, but we are all made to feel successful and fulfillment as we labor with Him. We are  meant to find our passion in Him and feel successful as we partner with Him in His work.

His work is the most serious work in this age because it deals with eternity. Our lives, even the small things we do every day, are all connected to eternity because we are immortal. The stakes in this life are high. Every person will either be in splendor or will be lost forever. There’s no middle ground.  There’s no purgatory. That’s why it is critical for each one of us to complete our assignment. Whatever God has given you to do is what is important for you. Teaching a Sunday School class is important. Encouraging someone the Lord puts in your life is important. Raising children is important. Being a witness on the job is important.  It is all important. Our prayers are more important than we know.

We are all going to be very surprised in the age to come when we see how much of God’s dramatic work in the nations was connected to seemingly ordinary things done by seemingly ordinary believers. Simple prayers become the means of opening up nations to the gospel. Seemingly random conversations end up transforming the lives of individuals who go on to do dramatic things. Small deeds of kindness produce more fruit than we can imagine. The reality is that there really are not any “normal” people. There are redeemed people doing seemingly ordinary things, but because of the glory that is inside a redeemed human being seemingly ordinary things will ultimately produce things that are glorious.

The only thing you are responsible for is what God wants you to do.  You are not responsible for anything else.  That is why there are no magic formulas to God’s will.  I cannot give you ten steps to being a successful Christian. Being a successful Christian is doing what God puts in front of us to do. This is why there are no magic formulas to God’s will. There are not 10 steps to being a successful Christian. We are not called to take on assignments others are given.

We are called to simply obey the Scripture and respond to specific assignments the Lord gives us. Some seem more important than others, but all our glorious because they are an opportunity to labor with God. Comparing our assignments with our heros, our spouses, friends, and ministries leaders leads to jealousy and feelings of failure. When we recognize how significant our obedience is to God in the small things of life and in whatever he puts in front of us, then we find fulfillment and “success.”

[1] C. S. Lews, “The Weight of Glory,” in The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, rev. and exp. ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1980), 18-19.

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