Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Power and Pitfalls of Success - Darlene Zschech

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."
- Joshua 1:8

Everyone has the desire to be successful, to achieve God's purposes for their life. But many people have tasted success, and yet remained unfulfilled. Why is that? The pursuit of success, just for the sake of being successful, is an empty well. You will never be satisfied. The world's picture of success is so seductive ... money, fame, glory. Yet God's picture of success is that of a servant, dead to self and alive to Christ. Here are four attributes of success, which have both a positive and a negative side. It's up to you to choose which success 'road' you walk.

Success generates MOMENTUM

Momentum can be your best friend - it's like the breath of God, causing one day to be more valuable and worthwhile than a thousand. With momentum on your side the future looks bright, obstacles look small, and troubles seem transitory. Momentum actually makes you look better than you are.

But, you can abuse momentum if you stop digging for the gold that gave you that momentum in the first place. The very basics, the core values. Momentum can give you a false sense of security. "I'm awesome, we're awesome, we can do it!" But at what cost? Before we know it, we've abused the privilege and lost sight of the higher call.

Success brings FOCUS

When a person is focused, they develop a sense of destiny and purpose, and start to believe in themselves. Suddenly, destiny is attainable, focus is sharpened and you develop that "iron" or determination in your soul. Awesome!

If we don't focus on the right thing we are in trouble. There's a temptation to focus on the gift, and not the gift giver. This leads to striving and comparing, discontentment, greed and jealousy. Yuk! Don't even go there! If we get our eyes off the prize, we focus our efforts inward rather than outward ... and that, my friend, is dangerous ground. Focus on the Lord, and not just all His benefits.

With success comes INFLUENCE

What an awesome honor it is to have influence! God, through His incredible grace, has given us favor to influence and bring change into the lives of people. To be a part of building God's kingdom is just so exciting!

Influence can easily be abused when it is self-seeking and self-serving. Do you realize how many people have been a part of great teams, and suddenly thought that it was all about them and that the team was holding them back?

This thinking causes people to walk away from the very thing that gave them the influence in the first place. Many people crave influence and fame, but they are unprepared to pay the cost, or take on the responsibility that goes hand in hand with that influence.


Like attracts like, and when you walk the path of success well, like-hearted people are attracted to you, which forms powerful partnerships. To be part of a team that is working together in unity is a great thing, and something I cherish, and never take for granted.

A worshiping church attracts worshiping people.

However, if there is a need in you to be successful so that you can "be seen", then this will also attract like-hearted people. What a tiring way to live, when your self-worth is constantly relying on the affirmation and approval of others, and your success journey is reduced to self-gratification.

You can walk the success road well

Understand that success in the kingdom is all about building the lives of others. Understand your life purpose. Our focus is found in Joshua 1:8 "You shall meditate in it (the Word of God) day and night...". Faithful, faithful, faithful. Faithful in the small things. Faithful in the unseen. Above all, have a heart that is desperate to see God's purposes established, and that lives to glorify Him.

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