Because of the nature of Christian success, it is often hard to recognize. So our motivation should not be derived from how we’re doing, how we’re measuring up. But measuring our success IS one way God encourages us; we just need to know what His standards are (again, His standards will be based on bringing us into dependence on Himself).
First of all, the Kingdom of God is entered, not built. His work is complete. Our spiritual walk and work is complete in Him. So where is the activity and change? In the soulical realm, with the physical following after. Our goal is to enter into His rest, not to become more productive, build His Kingdom, or even to make disciples of all nations (remember Jesus didn’t send out everyone, only those who had first come to Him, and had learned dependence on His Father).
So recognizing success will be a private thing, centering around a restful dependence. That’s not to say that a successful Christian walk is passive; far from it. It’s just active in a different way. Jesus’s walk on earth was the perfect example of a dependent life, yet the last thing we would say was that He was passive. But His motivation to act, His ability, His power all came through His depending on His Father.
This dependence must be experienced to be truly understood, and as we cooperate with the Lord we can be confident that He is working it into us, but a common example of dependence is the vine and the branch. All the branch has to do is be still and receive the life coming through the vine. In its season, fruit is borne, effortlessly, though through the branch. It is the vine that produces the fruit, the branch simply receives the life. As the life passes through its being, what was already there is en-livened and creates after its own kind. So we as the branches needn’t be concerned with how, or how much is being produced through us by His life flowing through us, unless the Lord specifically brings it to our attention.
Here’s an example the Lord gave me to remind me to rest on a regular basis: On my sliding glass door I’ve got a birdfeeder that’s held on by a couple of suction cups. The birdfeeder keeps the birds from hitting the glass, as well as feeding them up-close and personal so I can enjoy them. But what makes it work is the suction between the glass and the suction cup. All the suction cup needs to do is nothing; its purposes are being fulfilled without it doing a thing but being what it was meant to be. It just hangs in there! (You may want to ask the Lord to make this concept real to you; He’s a personal God, and knows what has meaning for you!)