What Does Success Look Like?

For the world, success will be outwardly measurable. For the Christian, it will be more subtle. In some ways, it will be a very private thing, between each individual and God. In familiar terms, the outward evidence of a successful Christian walk will be love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. But what these look like will vary from person to person, often depending on what particular circumstance God has placed a person in at a particular time, and what is being dealt with. So a person could appear to be depressed, anxious, angry or may have just failed at a job and yet be successful — because he is not relying on his own strength to deal with these things, but on the Lord. This is an incredible mind-shift for many of us, but one that needs to be made, since our basis for success often drives us away from the very thing that provides true success, thus making us vulnerable to manipulation from leaders, vulnerable to attack from the enemy, and at the mercy of our flesh. We need to be careful when judging either ourselves or others as to what success looks like.

Having said this, we can look at the example of Jesus Himself to see what His success looked like to others. Somehow He stirred an entire nation with His words and His actions. What did it look like? Jesus said that if they had seen Him, they had seen His Father. What did it sound like? Jesus said that He spoke only those things that He had received of His Father. So what is the standard of success we want to look for? Do our actions and words reflect our Father, His Nature? Do our actions and words reflect contentment, wholeness and dependence on our Father alone? What this specifically will look like will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis, but as our soulical senses are tuned, we will learn to recognize those who are walking in this dependence, as well as recognize it in ourselves. Those that have eyes and ears quickened by the Lord Himself will see and hear.

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