Originally published Monday, 14 March 2016.
One of the hardest things about living in this world as a Christian is not letting your mind conform to the earthly/carnal/temporal surroundings. The longer you are separated from Kingdom ways, which can be found in the Word of God, the easier it is to begin to think and act like the rest of the world who know so little of God’s ways. We become less and less heavenly-minded and begin to lose our focus on the eternal life that awaits us.
I know that’s why Paul urges us in Romans 12:2 to “not be CONFORMED to this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind.”
The Word of God will transform our carnal way of thinking that we are naturally born with, and once we are born again by receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we must continue our transformation process because we aren’t “home” yet. Although we are citizens of heaven, we still have a temporary residence here on earth and because of that we are subject to its environment. We HAVE TO renew our mind daily with God’s Word.
I’ve personally experienced instances where I have been pulled into following society’s timeline or approval process, measuring the way I lived my life with the world’s standards and regulations. One instance, in particular, is measuring success or accomplishment by popularity and quantity when using the finances, time, talent, or drive that the Lord has so graciously given us to use on this earth. Often we use them to make sure we advance in this life for ourselves, but God’s plan is to use them to bring Him glory and reach people for His Kingdom.
To the world, the more people hearing about the accomplishment, the greater the success and the more difference your life just made by contributing your gifts, time, or finances. The world is all about outward appearance, how something looks on the outside.
But the Lord looks at the heart of a person. 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT) says:
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
If the world saw a story in the newspaper about a shepherd that left 99 sheep to go after 1 that had gone astray, they would consider it absolutely foolish! “You could have lost even more! Think of all of that business you could potentially lose!” I hear.
Or what about King David (who was anointed the next King of Israel and awaiting his throne) who faithfully served King Saul even when he sought to kill him?
“Honor his authority?! That throne is rightfully yours! Tell King Saul to take a hike!”
Or how about a man from Nazareth who changed the entire world forever with just twelve people who gave up their entire lives to follow Him?
“You have HOW many followers on Twitter…TWELVE?! LOL I have 6 MILLION…I’m WAY more influential than you!”
Ok, the last example may be a stretch, but in today’s culture, many people truly believe having 6 million followers on Twitter is the epitome of success, “living the dream,” and truly “making it.”
Now, I’m not saying that the Lord can’t use someone to advance the Kingdom who has 6 million followers of Twitter, but why do we think that He chooses to use that person over the one who only has twelve Twitter followers (in the context of influence, of course)?
My point is that we must break ourselves free from the mindset that your life only matters when people hear about your accomplishments or contributions to society. The world says “MORE, MORE, MORE = GREAT, GREAT, GREAT.” But God is looking at the motive behind our drive to be successful.
Let’s face it, we all want to do something great. But I have to ask:
Are we using our life’s accomplishments to make a difference in the world even if it just for one person and your name isn’t in the headlines, on Billboards, on T-shirts, commercials, the credits of the latest TV show or movie?
Are we ok with being an “unknown?”
John the Baptist began to lose disciples when Jesus came on the scene, but John knew His purpose on this earth: to prepare the way for the Lord’s coming; to point others straight to the King of Kings so that they can enter the gate of Salvation.
“More of Him and less of me,” John declared in John 3:30. This should be our mindset too as we prepare for the Lord’s second coming.
It is our nature to be self-centered, to long for recognition, to be applauded for our efforts, etc. Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting credit for a job well-done, but we should always remember that “we are not our own. We’ve been bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
Anything we do, we should always give the credit and the glory to the One who gave us the ability to accomplish it and want nothing more than for others to grow and mature into a strong, healthy relationship with their Heavenly Father and Creator. He sees each life as precious and doesn’t weigh one life more important than another.
So to the stay-at-home mom raising those little ones: you are doing great things! You are successful!
To the CEO of that multi-million dollar company: you are doing great things! You are successful!
And to that youth pastor with a group of ten kids who you minister to week in and week out: you are doing great things! You are successful!
Just REMEMBER, that success is to advance the Kingdom and win others to Christ…one person at time!
Give God the glory He deserves, not only with your words but with your heart…He created you to do great things!
Check out more of my blogs on www.emilyrosemassey.com! Also, visit my website for more information on how to stay connected with me, as well as info about my book Yielded in His Hands- now available on Amazon.com!