September 21, 2021
Have you ever wanted something so bad? Wanted to win that game, buy that car, move into that house? Has achieving things and receiving the recognition ever taken over.
I think we have all been guilty of this from time to time, but…
3 Bible Truths About Striving for Personal Success-
It’s not about you!
This may not be a popular thing to say in this day in age, but it is not about you. God does not care about how successful you are here on Earth if you are wearing the best clothes, making the most money, or rolling in recognition. Jesus’ did not say, “The first commandment is to earn a whole bunch.” No, “Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mathew 22:37-39. Pages and pages of lines written in red along with all the words of the bible- Nowhere does it say your job on Earth is to achieve. No, it says to love God and love each other. It’s not about you. Your worth to God is in the recognition that it is Him we should praise. We love to turn ourselves into the center of our motivation, our achievement for our self-love, and our glory.
But if they do not bring us closer to the love of God, or one another as Jesus commanded, then we have to ask,
Is this really that important?
Because it is not about you.
2. Not Saved by works, but instead by what He did.
You cannot save yourself. Simple fact. We are saved by what He did and not by what we do.
This confuses a lot of people, especially if you are new to the Christian faith and if you came from a religious-works-based background as many of you have. As I did. We ask then, why do works? Why do good?
And this, this right here is everything. To me, this IS the difference between religion and a relationship with Christ.
We do not deserve it, but we have it. And when we acknowledge that our very salvation, our everything we have ever had, everything we will ever have, everything we have ever done or will do, all good is because of Him, and all sin is washed clean because of Him. Not us! There is a peace to that surrender unlike anything else. Let this soak in. If you haven’t accepted Christ truly as your Savior, this is the moment.
When we accept that it is not up to us, but because of Him, that is where we find the peace only He can give.
3. Our works are in His name for His glory by His will.
We can not earn our salvation! We already have it if we accept His grace. Our works are a reflection of our love for Him.
This acknowledgment is what it is all about. And with this acknowledgment the most marvelous thing happens- you want to do good works in his great name because you have to share this peace. In fact, to continue the above verse, the very next verse says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Does he want us shouting His great name, loving Him and loving each other, doing great works in His great name? YES! Are we saved by those works- NO. Our achievements, our works, our deeds do not save us.
Us being saved gives rise to good works in His great name.
Why talk about this…
I was recently watching the new Lularich documentary on Amazon prime. I try not to ever start addictive shows because once I start I can’t stop. This was no exception. It got me thinking about our need for success. Our willingness to make huge mistakes to somehow show the illusion of worldly success. How willing we are to flaunt our things and risk relationships and happiness for the momentary perceived praise.
The world promotes a culture that encourages large amounts of debt, houses we can’t afford, cars that cause us to not sleep at night, and an unending need for more.
Instagram shows a perfect existence with provincial white rooms and modern chandeliers.
And where does it get us?
IS doing all this achieving getting us closer to God?
When our thought process is set on achievement is there room for God and can we earn our way?
It does not matter whether it is the attempt to achieve things, praise, or salvation.
When our focus is on OUR PERSONAL achievements and not what God wants from us and for us we lose sight of what is important. Him.
In works-based religions, it is almost surprising how easily the culture to succeed and earn OUR praise with OUR works filters into every aspect of the lives of those seeking salvation through works. Works become important in every aspect and a need to achieve is underlying in all parts of life. How can it not be? The basis of salvation is placed on earning your right to God, to be a God even. Earning becomes a focus in everything without much thought. But when the emphasis is placed on what WE are earning is there room for God’s will?
How to make a difference… solutions…
If you came from a works based religious background, or if you have been living the worlds standards this is going to be a big shift.
3 Big Truths about Achievement and Striving for Personal Success
Accept it’s not about you. It’s about Him.
Know you are not saved by your works, but by what He did. Grace.
Understand our works are in His name, for His glory, by His will.