Sunday, October 4, 2015

SEPTEMBER 2. "WHAT DO YOU BASE YOUR SUCCESS ON?"

What do you base your success on? We all, secretly in our minds, base our success on something, whether we will admit it, to anybody, or jut keep it to ourselves. "I know, the secret of my success".  Others are not so closed about "the secret of their success" because they don't think "their secret" is conceited. One Pastor accredits the secret of his success to his Tuesday Night prayer meetings. "That's the key, right there!". We listen and we think, "makes sense, prayer, of course prayer is the key, let's implement Tuesday night prayer meetings in our Church". However, this Church finds no success in these prayer meetings, they can't pay or offer enough food, to gather any kind of substantial crowd to participate in these Tuesday night prayer meetings, another Church is able to rally good support for the meetings, but a year or two down the road, they cannot say that they have seen any difference. The church who bases the secret of their success on Tuesday night prayer meetings went from 30 people to 3000 people, other churches that have tried the "secret recipe" for success have gone from 30, to .....31, back down to 20, back up to 25, etc...etc....
No that's not the secret, then we hear of how one Church began to do street meetings every Friday night and saw their Church go from 35 to 200 people. " I'll tell you what the secret was brother, we started doing these street meetings....".  And so what do we do, we start Friday night street meetings. The results....a church member gets in a fight with a heckler and five people leave the Church.  Net gain, - 5 from Street Meetings. Paul lists all his credentials and boy does he have some credentials but yet attributes none of these to his success. "I count them all as dung...".  It would have been so easy for Paul to think, all that knowledge I have, all that training, surely that's why I have the success I have, I know that none of those fishermen disciples had much of a formal education. That's why God is using me more, but how could I ever express that? I will keep it to myself, but I know...."  Or Paul could have thought it was because he was "a Hebrew of Hebrews, of the best stock, of the tribes of Israel, it must be, that somehow that is linked to my success, wow, it's a good thing I came from good stock".  We all do this, we all want to figure out "the reason for success" we all want to be able to "figure out the why".  However Paul does not allow himself to be lured into this thought of mind that can only lead to false conclusions and assessments. Paul never gave in to the temptation to write a book on "the five keys to successful missions work".  What do you attribute your success to? Is it because you have such a great heart for God and He sees that, is it because you pray so much and He hears that, is it because you labor so hard and He sees that? Are you tempted to write a book on the "secrets of your success?". The moment you think you have found the key, the moment you voice to others "what the key is" to your success, don't be surprised if the success begins to diminish from that point on. Can it be "that there is no key", can it be that your success, Paul's success, any Church's or Christians's success has nothing to do, particularly, with any "specifics" but rather it is simply God's Grace upon that Church, God's Grace upon that Christian, God's Grace upon that ministry and of course the temptation then is to ask, "but why is God's Grace upon that Christian, why is God's Grace upon..." And I recommend YOU DON'T. We human beings, are hopelessly pre-occupied with wanting to figure everything out, figure out every why, make a formula, package it and sell it.And perhaps in some ways, God has put that in us and in the physical realm, it may work well, but in the spiritual realm, we are out of our league and when we try to apply some kind of theorem to the things of God; we insult God, grieve the Holy Spirit and often put a wet blanket upon the fire that God was breathing. Next time you are tempted to figure out the why and how, suffice it to say, it is simply God's Grace and more of it I need, that's all I need to know, the rest I leave up to God.