God’s value system – successful or faithful?

faithfulservantSometimes, as Christians, especially in the pentecostal church world, I have seen a tendency to get discouraged because we do not see the results we desire through our labors or we don’t have the opportunity or the time to make more of a difference. We can self-torment with the desire to be successful, to have an influence in the world, to be world changers. Our dreams verses our reality can drag us down.

The question comes in the end: Are we dreaming God’s dreams or are we dreaming our own desires to be world changers and calling it God’s dream for our lives? How can we determine the difference?

It comes down to the condition of the heart. Is your heart submitted to God and to what He wants to do in your life, unconditionally? Can you sincerely say: Lord, here I am, I surrender my life to You, I trust You and I am willing to follow Your plan for my life, no matter in what way it might affect me.

Or is your desire to do ‘as much as possible’ FOR the Lord? Is this what we are called to as Christians though? To achieve as much as possible or to be faithful to His plan for our life, no matter how big or small it may be?

Let’s look at what God considers important. He reveals what He values from our life on earth by the response He gives to those servants of His who finish their work on the earth and then appear before God to be rewarded. He welcomes them in heaven with these words:

“Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:21)

This verse reveals God’s value system – His measuring stick if I may say so, the quality He values in us and our attitude towards His plan for our lives. It is faithfulness.

The way I view things in the world is simple. God has a global master plan. He has divided this big master plan into puzzle pieces and each of us are assigned a piece of the puzzle that it is ours to fulfil.

He also mentions that:

“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” (Matthew 25:29) (NLT)

In other words, the way God values your productivity is: how much you’ve been given verses how much you have used of it. If you use it faithfully, He will entrust you with more. If not, you will loose some through lack of faithfulness in using the gifts He gave you. This is a grave warning.

But even from this passage, I can see that God values faithfulness.

There are two kinds of success:

  1. Success that comes from faithfulness to God
  2. Success that comes from wanting to do as much as possible for God, aka, our own thing for God (and possibly our own thing to make us feel good and important about ourselves)

The size of your success is not necessarily a proof that you are faithful to God. Many have built large organizations on a charisma personality and good business principles and without any help from God. Some of these feel that, because they have had success, it means that God is pleased with them, but God is looking for obedience and not sacrifice.

As Jesus said:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Faithfulness in abiding in Christ, doing things with Him, in Him, the things He wants us to do is the determining factor between real success or doing nothing that counts in His eyes, even though we may appear successful.

We can also see from this passage that faithfulness in walking in step with God will lead us to bearing MUCH fruit. And Jesus also said:

” By this My Father will be glorified, that you bear MUCH fruit” (John 15:8)

So we can see that God’s heart is for us to be successful, but successful in faithfulness to Him and His plan for our lives.

If we want to ensure that we will not slip from the good kind of success to the wrong kind of success, we need to make sure that our relationship with God is our number one priority above all ministry work. Since it is so important, it should appear in the way we allocate time to it, time to be with Him.

I have heard of Dr Paul Yonchi Cho, who would cancel appointments with church members who wanted to see him, if he felt the Holy Spirit was calling him to spend time in prayer out of the blue. He even declined the president of South Korea when he called him for an urgent audience, saying that He is in an audience with the King of Kings and cannot come. This is the kind of heart we need to have towards the Lord, that we are flexible to be with Him whenever He calls us and put Him first above all other activities.

We also need to make sure that in our ‘much praying’ we have the right kind of heart of surrender and obedience, seeking to hear and obey unconditionally whatever the Lord requires of us. Without this attitude, we can waste a lot of time in prayer and still go on and do our own thing for God.

We need to lay our own wills, our agendas, our wants, desires, dislikes and points of view down before God and have an attitude of heart that is willing for any change of plans, thinking, attitudes and actions. Our lives have to be on His altar in prayer, just like Abraham laid Isaac on the sacrifice, if we want to truly hear from God about His plans for us and truly be ready by His grace to do the things we are asked.

I will close with one more saying from Jesus:

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)

It’s clear from this passage that not just any kind of success will do with Jesus. The fruitfulness He is looking for is that which comes from abiding in Him, by His power, to His glory and through obedience.

I encourage you to go before the Lord and ask Him to reveal to you what are the things you are doing now out of obedience and faithfulness, which is true success, called fruitfulness and what are the things that you are doing in order to do much for Him in your own strength or for you to feel good and important about yourself.

Repent of the things that are not true success and take the necessary steps to declutter your life from those things that are taking you away from being faithful to Him. They might even be things that are not ministry related, but are time sappers with no real value for eternity and they only take you away or tire you for the things that really matter.

May the grace of the Lord help you to do this.

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About Marilena Fackerell

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