EARTHLY OR ETERNAL SUCCESS
What’s your definition of success?
Like beauty, success is in the eye of the beholder. My criteria for success may differ from yours, and therein lays the problem. Whenever you attempt to define success according to the wisdom of man, it’s continually subject to change and interpretation. This inconsistency leads to confusion and unfulfilled expectations. Individuals are left in a quandary as to how to conduct their lives.
King Solomon eventually realized that when temporal success is your ultimate goal in life. It can be fueled by ungodly, evil desires.
Then I saw yet another thing. Envy fuels achievement. All the work and skills people develop come from their desire to be better than their neighbors. Even this is fleeting, like trying to embrace the wind.
As the saying goes: The fool folds his hands to rest and lets his flesh waste away. It is better to have one handful of peace than to have two hands full of hard work and a desire to catch the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:4-6
Thankfully, Papa has a single benchmark for success— being Christ-like. A goal that requires…
Becoming spiritually mature doesn’t occur through osmosis or overnight. It requires a daily, concerted effort on your part to emulate Christ in both word and deed.
Your love is to be sincere and active, the real thing, without guile and hypocrisy.
Hate what is evil. Detest all ungodliness. Do not tolerate wickedness. Hold on tightly to what is good.
Be devoted to one another with authentic brotherly affection, as members of one family. Give preference to one another in honor.
Never lagging behind in diligence. Aglow in the Spirit. Enthusiastically serving the Lord. Constantly rejoicing in hope because of our confidence in Christ.
Steadfast and patient in distress. Devoted to prayer— continually seeking wisdom, guidance and strength. Contributing to the needs of God’s people. Pursuing the practice of hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you. Who cause you harm or hardship. Bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice— sharing others’ joy. Weep with those who weep— sharing others’ grief.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, conceited, self-important, exclusive, but associate with humble people. Those with a realistic self-view. Do not overestimate yourself.
Never repay anyone evil for evil. Take thought for what is right and gracious and proper in the sight of everyone. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves but leave the way open for God’s wrath and His judicial righteousness.
For it is written in Scripture, “Vengeance is Mine. I will repay,” says the Lord.
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. For by doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.”
I love epic movies such as The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Braveheart and Elizabeth. Brave men and women engaged in a battle to the death.
Boldly confronting the evil of the day so others are freed from tyranny.
Saying no temporal rewards and yes to sacrificial living.
Your too can be a spiritual hero!
Be strong in the Lord. Draw your strength from Him. Be empowered through your union with Him and in the power of His boundless might.
Put on the full armor of God. For His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier. So that you may be able to successfully stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, contending only with physical opponents, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly supernatural places.
Therefore, put on the complete armor of God. So that you will be able to successfully resist and stand your ground in the evil day of danger. Having done everything that the crisis demands, to stand firm in your place. Fully prepared. Immovable. Victorious.
So stand firm and hold your ground. Having tightened the wide band of truth, personal integrity, moral courage around your waist.
Having put on the breastplate of righteousness— an upright heart.
Having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news.
Above all, lift up the protective shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17
Your first response during times of tribulation as well as prosperity is to seek Papa’s guidance— His Counsel. The Holy Spirit will reveal to you Papa’s will in the situation. However, you can’t have preconceived ideas regarding the solution, or how the Holy Spirit chooses to reveal it to you.
Yes, some of your “whys” won’t be answered this side of eternity.
Yes, circumstances will come into your life, and those you love that appear to contradict Papa’s faithfulness and love.
Yes, you may suffer physical and emotional pain.
Though we have already tasted the first fruits of the Spirit, we are longing for the total redemption of our bodies that comes when our adoption as children of God is complete.
For we have been saved in this hope and for this future. But hope does not involve what we already have or see. For who goes around hoping for what he already has. But if we wait expectantly for things we have never seen, then we hope with true perseverance and eager anticipation.
A similar thing happens when we pray. We are weak and do not know how to pray. So the Spirit steps in and articulates prayers for us with groaning too profound for words. Don’t you know that He who pursues and explores the human heart intimately knows the Spirit’s mind because He pleads to God for His saints to align their lives with the will of God?
We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. From the distant past, His eternal love reached into the future.
You see, He knew those who would be His one day, and He chose them beforehand to be conformed to the image of His Son. So that Jesus would be the firstborn of a new family of believers, all brothers and sisters. As for those He chose beforehand, He called them to a different destiny so that they would experience what it means to be made right with God and share in His glory. Romans 8:23-30
Grow up and stop cowering! You won’t crash and burn as long as the Holy Spirit is the pilot and you His co- pilot.