You were created to live a life of success! Nobody wants to be a dud and nobody wants to fail and that's because God has called us to live a significant life; a life of fruitfulness!
“So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine. “
John 15:4 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Fruitfulness or success flows out of relationship with God; out of staying connected to the Vine.
“I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless.”
John 15:5 The Passion Translation (TPT)
True fruitfulness flows from relationship with God; if you just aim to have a strong relationship with God you will be successful! You are a success if you've got a good relationship with God! Out of relationship with God flows success or fruitfulness in whatever you do (your work, your family, your relationships)! Success in every area of your life flows from the foundation of relationship with Him.
“When your lives bear abundant fruit, you demonstrate that you are my mature disciples who glorify my Father!”
John 15:8 The Passion Translation (TPT)
God's will is that we produce much fruit, and its fruit, not failure glorifies God. Now, yes, we make mistakes and we fail – thank God for grace – but God never leads us into failure. God's will for us is never failure. He wants you to succeed; He wants you to live a life of abundant fruitfulness! “When your lives bear abundant fruit…” that's what brings glory to God! That's what God desires for us: abundant fruit in our lives! And when that happens we are demonstrating that we are his mature disciples and we're bringing glory to the Father! Our fruitfulness brings glory to God, not our failure.
Fruitfulness is also a sign of maturity. You might be looking at your life and saying, “well, I'm not really living a fruitful life!” well that's maybe because you're not as mature as you think you are! Maybe you just need to draw a bit closer in intimacy and in relationship to Jesus? Maybe you need to get more of the word into you, and allow that to start producing life and fruitfulness in you? You can't produce fruit apart from Christ and so striving to be successful and striving to be fruitful will not produce what you’re called to produce!
Google dictionary defines success as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. Many people are aiming at nothing and hitting it every time and that's not success. Success includes aiming at something and hitting it but many people are aiming at the wrong thing and they're hitting it but it’s not success. You need to aim at the right thing! You could build a successful business and make millions of dollars or Rands or Pounds or whatever your currency is but it would not be success if you aren’t doing what God has called you to do. The way the world defines success and how God defines success is different! Success is doing what he's called you to do.
A wealthy businessman was making investments around the world and he felt the Lord lead him to invest in a company in China. From the start of that investment, he was losing money and it really cost him a lot of money! In the world’s eyes, it failed and like a good businessman, he was trying to be a good steward of his money by pulling out of it and putting the money into a better investment. However, when he prayed about it, he felt the Lord say to not remove his investment but keep it. It didn't make sense because he was losing money every year while other investments were keeping that investment going. After 8 years of losing money in that investment a door open for him to go into China and help with the business and influence people with the gospel. After 8 years of obedience, even though it didn’t make sense, he realized that the purpose of that investment was to reach people with the gospel and to have an eternal impact. It wasn’t just about making money. The world would have seen that as a failure, but success is in doing what God has called you to do even if it costs you. You need to see things like God sees them – that's what faith is.
Google dictionary also defines success as “the attainment of fame or wealth or social status”, but according to God that is not success. I’ve met many rich and famous people who are just plain miserable – that's not success! There are many rich and famous people are addicted to drugs, have dysfunctional relationships and even commit suicide. That's not success! Taking your life is not success. If you think about Robin Williams who committed suicide, Marilyn Monroe and others, although they were successful in their field of occupation; they had fame and fortune – but they were not successes in themselves. Success is not just an accumulation of wealth and fame. Success is in doing what God has called you to do, the way that he has called you to do it. That is what will produce fruitfulness in your life!
Matthew 16:29 TPT, “even if you were to gain all the wealth and power of this world with everything it could offer you at the cost of your own life, what good would that be? And what could be more valuable to you than your own soul?”
If you are just aiming to make money, thinking that the more money you make the more successful you’ll be, you are not in God’s will. Aiming to have a successful business to the detriment of your relationship with God and your family is wrong. You can have both a successful business and a healthy marriage and family, but if you have to sacrifice your family in order to make a successful business then you're out of God's will. If you have to sacrifice growing in your relationship with God and being part of a healthy local church in order to build a successful business, you are out of the will of God. God will never lead you away from your family or away from being a partaker in a local church. Yes, there are always exceptions and maybe for a short space of time you need to work longer hours or go away on a business trip and spend some time away from your family, or church, but if that becomes the norm and you're putting your relationship with God, your family and church on the altar of success in order to be successful, then you are not in God’s will. Some people use the excuse of, “but I want to provide for my family; I want to be a good provider!” I hear you. But listen, if you have to sacrifice relationship with your family to provide for your family, then you are not trusting in God, walking in His will nor living by faith. Success is focusing on things of eternal value and keeping priorities; keeping the main thing the main thing in your life! Success is building into your relationship with God and your loved ones. Remember that you are replaceable at the office, and you can always do something else to earn a living, but you are irreplaceable in your household – you have a position in your family that only you can fill.