We are all hardwired to desire success; no one desires to be a failure but how do you define success? I like to define success as walking in relationship with God and doing what He’s called me to do – success is starting with God and walking with God. That might be a bit over-simplistic for some of you, but it’s probably because you’re over complicating things. Get back to the basics of pursuing a relationship with God; true success can only be found in Him!
Philippians 3:13 New English Translation (NET Bible)
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead
Paul is saying that he forgot the things that are behind and is reaching out to the things that are ahead. You cannot reach out for the things that are ahead if you haven’t let go of the things that are past; whether they are good, bad or ugly. You need to let go and push on, otherwise, you’re in neutral; you’re standing still. Passivity will not accomplish much. You will not fulfil your calling and purpose while waiting for it to happen. Paul said that he pressed on. If you’re not pressing forward by being purposeful in your decision-making and being intentional in moving towards your God-ordained destiny, then you’re not going to advance and you’re probably going to get frustrated pretty quickly!
Just because someone dies doesn’t mean they fulfilled their purpose. The graveyard is where you’ll find the greatest potential on earth because many do not reach their potential and walk in their purpose. Make it your goal this year to live up to your God-given potential. Don’t be passive about the purposes of God.
You cannot earn the favor or blessing of God’s through your performance, however, your faith (your positive response to His grace) will release His favor and blessing in your life! Faith without corresponding actions (aka works) is dead. Your faith will always be revealed by action (James 2:17). If you believe that God’s called you in a direction, then your faith should be leading you to move in that direction. If you’re not moving you need to ask yourself if you really do believe. God has given you potential and will empower you to walk in it, but He will not force you to walk in it! If you want to reach out for the things that lie ahead you need to know what lies ahead! That means that you have to have a vision of what lies ahead. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going to end up wandering aimlessly and you’re going to end up wasting time, resources and energy on things that don’t really matter.
It is vital that you have a vision of what God has called you to. You need to know the direction that you’re supposed to run in! Too many people invest all their energy into chasing the wrong vision – it’s not enough to have a vision; do you have the right one? It’s a sad thing to climb the ladder of success and realize that you are leaning against the wrong wall. Are you on the wrong ladder? You need to be going in the right direction. Like someone once said, “if your ladder is not leaning against the correct wall, then every step you take just takes you further in the wrong direction. God created you on purpose and He created you for a purpose. Only His purpose for your life will bring you true satisfaction.
You may think that you know what you want to do with your life but God knows you better than you know you. He created you and shaped you for a specific purpose. I guarantee you that unless you are walking in His purposes for your life, you will never truly be satisfied. I know many people who are seeking their own agenda in their life; they’ve got dreams, they’ve got goals and they’re asking God to bless their lives, and their plans. But you know what? You never have to ask God to bless your life if you’re walking in His will. God’s purposes for your life will bring true satisfaction and fulfilment.
Hebrews 12:1-2 New English Translation (NET Bible)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, 2 keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus…
True success is walking in God’s vision for your life with Him. The writer of this verse says, “the race”, which implies that you have a specific race that God has set out before you. Do you know what it is? If you want to know I encourage you to read Jeremiah 29:11-13, Jeremiah 33:3, Matthew 6:33 and Matthew 7:7-8.
If you want to finish your course with joy, you need to have the correct focus. Jesus is the correct focus. As believers, we live by faith. That means that we’re only ever as successful as our faith. As you look to Jesus, who is the Author and Finish of our faith, your faith will be strengthened and you will be enabled to run your race with endurance (staying power) and finish strong. You can fulfil the vision of God for your life. Seek Him. He is the One that will lead you into success and bring you ultimate satisfaction and fulfilment in your life.