Our part is not control. It’s not results. It’s obedience.
It’s intimacy with the One who asks us to trust him even when nothing makes sense.
— You’re Made for a God-sized Dream, Chapter 7
We live in a world of numbers. We can measure everything in our lives from pounds on a scale to the amount of friends we have on Facebook. That makes it tempting to measure the success of our God-sized dream in a similar way too. It makes us feel safer to tell ourselves, “When I reach this specific goal, then I will be a success.”
Even if we don’t attach a number to it, we can still come up with other ways of being able to check the “success” box on our lives. Happy family. Flourishing career. Deep spiritual life. Yet God calls us to see success differently. He doesn’t measure or define it like we do. Rather than seeking a result, He invites us to see success as part of a relationship.
To say it simply: true success is being a good and faithful servant who brings happiness to our Master. “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! (Matt. 25: 21) What does this look like in our daily lives?
First, the word “good” is about our character. It describes who we are. Thankfully, we don’t have to make ourselves “good.” Indeed, there’s no way we even can. We’re sinners who need a Savior. Yet when we receive what Jesus did for us, we do become “good.” And we bring our Master joy as we live out more and more of who we already are in Him. As Paul said, “Only let us live up to what we have already attained” (Phil. 3:16).
The word “faithful” describes our actions, what we do. In other words, being faithful means being trustworthy and obedient. God can count on us to say yes to what He asks of us and to follow through on it. Will we mess up? Absolutely. What counts is that when we do, we come running back to our Master and let Him help us.
In essence, success means yielding to the ongoing process of Jesus transforming us in every area of our lives. When we do so, we bring Him joy. It’s beautiful the way this verse describes it: “enter into the joy of your master” (Matt. 25:21 NASB). In other words, the joy of the Master in His servant is ongoing.
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