Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Dangers of Desiring Spiritual Success

"Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you..." (Luke 10:20)

'Worldliness is not the trap that most endangers us as Christian workers; nor is it sin.  The trap we fall into is extravagantly desiring spiritual success; that is, success measured by, and patterned after, the form set by this religious age in which we now live.  Never seeking after anything other than the approval of God, and always be willing to go "outside the camp, bearing His reproach" (Hebrews 13:13).  In Luke 10:20, Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice.  We have a commercialized view - we count how many souls have been saved and sanctified, we thank God, and then we think everything is alright. Yet our work only begins where God's grace has laid the foundation'. ~ Oswald Chambers "The Warning Against Desiring Spiritual Success (My Utmost for His Highest)

I have seen the dangers of what Oswald has warned about in his article. There has been an increased desire for spiritual success that has overtaken the body of Christ causing saints to trample over one another.

This spiritual thirst is not one of increasing and equipping the kingdom of God but rather one of control and building empires of "self".  It has grieved me to see the backlash on social medias, the slander and the ungodly behavior many are engaging in to reach that success.  They slander, gossip, and curse one another with the word of God as they twist them to justify their actions. They discredit one another to prove themselves to be more.  They throw their titles around as to intimidate others and prove their anointing. This is foolish! We are the Body of Christ.  Each one of us.  Title or no title.  We are all subject to God.  No one is exempt.  Why are we comparing our gifts and anointing? Why are we competing to be greater?  Why are we striving for more churches, bigger facilities and ministries? What is our true motive in serving God?  Is it because we desire to build the Kingdom of God or our own?

Awhile back I was scrolling through some statuses on Facebook, my heart was stricken with grief.  I knew it was not my grief but that of the Holy Spirit.  I had to immediately go into my prayer room and a deep wail came forth!  It was not my cry but HIS!  Saints, there is no need to push yourself to the top. God's says that your gifts will make room for you.  He promises to exalt those who humble themselves.

Spiritual success is not dependent on your title, your gifts, your education nor your eloquent words.  It is however dependent upon your intimate relationship with JESUS!  A relationship with Jesus will cause you to walk righteously and in obedience.  It will cause you to only do what the Father says and speak what the Father speaks.  Nothing more and nothing less.  It will cause you to forgive those who have offended you.  It will cause you to love, yes, even your enemies.  It will cause you to serve others and not expect to be served in return.  Jesus walked in all of these.  Therefore why do we feel we are above Christ?

There is nothing wrong in striving for and obtaining spiritual success if your motive and heart is right.  It's time to examine why we are so desperate to be seen, to be heard, to be right, to be more, to have more, to be big in the eyes of man.  Remember, God searches the heart of man.  What will He find in yours?

I, myself had to re-examine my heart.  Therefore what I am presenting to you, I have first eaten of it.  There was a time where I worshiped more my spiritual gifts than I did the Giver of the gifts. I desired the praises of my fellow brethren more than I desired God's. I sought to be known by man rather than be known by God. I traveled on dangerous roads that were wide and picked up a few hitch hikers called jealousy, envy, greed and we traveled together to the road called rebellion and disobedience.  A road which ultimately cost me.  Instead of spiritual success, I came to a spiritual death.  People of God, hear me:  there is NOTHING worth greater than your success in your relationship with the LORD.

Matthew 16:26 says it like this: What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Spiritual success is having an intimate relationship with God and beholding His likeness, His heart.  "First seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things will be added unto you!"  Everything flows out of that relationship.  Do not get caught up with the glamour and fame of being known and doing great things.  Instead get caught up with the awesomeness of God and seek to do those things that He longs for you to do (obedience), whether great or small for His Honor and His glory alone! Now that's spiritual success!

There is a fine line between seeking spiritual success for God's glory and seeking spiritual success for yours....

Remember that your churches, ministries, gifts and talents are HIS and what you possess He has entrusted to you to oversee and use for His purposes and glory. Not to flaunt, to pimp or take possession.  It all belongs to HIM.  Be good stewards.  Be humble and serve those who have been appointed to receive from you with a genuine love to see them prosper in the LORD.

God bless you Saints.....Let's build together with love, respect and kindness towards one another and offer ourselves to serve the Almighty God in spiritual unity.  May His grace empower us all to be successful in Him!!