Everyone wants to have success and influence in some way. This cannot be underestimated, as all people have the need to thrive and to succeed. God made us this way. It’s a part of who we are, and we feel better about ourselves when we achieve it.
However, when it comes to church and people serving Jesus, there’s a weird thing about success and influence that I can’t figure out. The world teaches that if you have both of these then you must be doing something wrong or that you’ve taken a shortcut and compromised in some way. This ideology confuses me, because God is the giver of all good things, and all good gifts come down from the Father of lights. His goodness endures continually; therefore, He consistently is reaching to reward those who diligently serve Him.
The weird thing about success and influence is more about our attitude than it is His blessings. I believe the criticism and wrong ideas against success are really covering an underlying issue of jealousy and insecurity. When we feel like we don’t measure up or that someone else has more than us, it’s easy to have a default reaction of feeling jaded, slighted, or that we deserve it more than them. All of this is a wrong attitude, as God has enough to go around for everyone. Success and influence does not have to mean that I’m doing something wrong, but it can mean I’m doing something right.
God wants His church not to shrink in size, but rather expand and multiply. God doesn’t want our lives to shrink and shrivel, but rather expand and grow. He wants us to take new territory and be who He’s called us to be. This in itself is the nature of God as He moves on you and me and causes us to be new people. God is a God of growth. He wants you and me to expand, taking new ground in our lives both internally and externally. When you and I break barriers on the inside of us, we can then break the barriers around us. This could happen in many areas: emotional health, financial stability, relationship health, spiritual growth and more. This is God’s heart for you and me!
Yet it seems so many are hearing messages that speak against this very thing. How sad, and how confusing! Yes, trials, testings and ups-and-downs are going to happen. But God wants to give you and me success and influence that will cause His name to be famous. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost; therefore, He wants you and me to be effective fishers of men! Meaning He wants you and me to have success and influence in His mission and purpose for our lives.
Think about that.
He didn’t come and pay the price for us to not be successful and to have limited influence. He didn’t come to live with us so that we would fail. He came to do so much, including giving us success and influence. So when you see big churches, when you see people blessed in a variety of ways, when you see influence expanding in a variety of genres, it doesn’t have to be bad. Rather, it can be the blessing of God on that person or on that church.
Having this attitude will lift our eyes to see a higher picture that God has more for us. Success and influence doesn’t just mean more money, bigger crowds, or book deals. But it does mean that we are thriving and growing, doing what God has called us to do. I want to encourage you to embrace success and influence in your life. As a matter of fact, when we obey the word of God he promises to bless us and cause us to prosper.
Joshua 1:8 says,“Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
Notice, it’s God who causes us to have success and to prosper when we obey His word. So when anyone who serves Him receives success and influence, shouldn’t this be a praise and glory to God? Of course. Because of this truth, I want to stir you to believe for bigger things in your life. Let your mind be renewed in how you think of success and influence.
There is darkness over so many people, and Jesus wants us to reach them. We don’t have time to debate if the latest and greatest church or preacher is right or not. We don’t have time to blog about what true success is. We have got to move forward in the mission of Jesus. We have to reach as He is reaching, we have to go where He is going, we have to love who He is loving, and we have to be who He’s calling us to be.
He wants us to grow and have success and influence.
Don’t let this be weird to you. Don’t let this be an abnormal thought in your heart when it comes to your faith. But rather, reach and believe that God can do something profound in your life. This may mean different things for each of us, but God has success and influence for all of us.
The question is, will you and I choose to grow? Will we be who God wants us to be? Remember, when you and I break through the barriers inside of us, we can break through the barriers around us. Success and influence come to those who choose to internally grow and be who God has called them to be. It comes to those who are willing to be uncomfortable so they can be healed. It comes to those who are willing to take steps of faith into new territory so that God can do what He wants to do. This is our moment. This is our opportunity!
No matter what you’re facing or feeling, and no matter where you are at, God can give you success and influence like never before. When you follow Jesus, something good will happen for you. It may not be to the masses, it may not be to the world, but let God increase your life by giving you success and influence so that at least one person is reached through you.
The weird thing about success and influence is that it doesn’t have to be weird. Receive it, and go with God because the best is yet to come.
Have a great week,