“What is Success?”
I was glad that Pastor Bayo wasn’t known for putting people on the spot during his sermons, as this question undoubtedly buzzed in and out of the ears of the congregation, forming big floating question marks over our heads. I could’ve given various examples of what I was sure success wasn’t: wealth, the clothes you wear, the car you drive, how many university degrees you have, whether or not you are in a relationship, and the list could go on. But identifying what success is, seemed like a complicated and daunting task, with opposing opinions on every side. In the world or from a worldly perspective, success is defined by possessions and material goods; a man or woman’s position, status, lifestyle, bank account balance or even other’s perceptions of them. But as Christians, as children of God, our success is evident in spirit, before God.
Galatians 5:16 -17
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Our success is also evident in the manner in which we use our Spiritual gifts, Spiritual fruits and our God-given talents (- I will discuss in more detail in part 2). But let’s consider, our spiritual condition as a reflection of our success, then agreeably none of us will succeed without God. It takes the spirit of God to cleanse the inward state of a man or woman, boy or girl, and nurture it, there is no other “cure” or “quick fix”. The ‘spirit’ refers to one’s inward self, the soul, the heart. Our inward selves translate into our outward portrayals, behaviours and habits, sooner or later – nothing remains hidden forever. As Jesus said to the Pharisee whom he dined with, in Luke 11:39
“Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. 40 Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?”
Therefore, allow God to establish his work in your heart, to manifest his love in your spirit. We should yield to the spirit of God and let God rule over us. Regardless of where we are from, our nationality, appearance and especially regardless of our past – which if fixated on, can and does hinder success. One decision we can make, which will enable us to be successful, is learning to serve. In serving we invite God to establish the fruits of the Spirit in us, be it
So by serving as well as following other instructions from the Holy Spirit, God will elevate us spiritually and in our lives.
Luke 22:26 – 27 (Jesus speaking to his disciples about who will be considered the greatest disciple),
26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
As we serve others, with a pure heart, I pray that God will lift us to greater heights, rewarding us with spiritual growth, fruitfulness, and prosperity in our various walks of life. Just as David was elevated, from a boy shepherd to the king of Israel, and Joseph from a slave and prisoner, to a powerful man in Egypt, highly favoured by Pharaoh.
I pray you have been and will be blessed by these posts in Jesus name amen.
Stay tuned for part 2 …