"Then I heard the Lord asking, 'Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?' I said, 'Here I am. Send me.' " Isaiah 6:8....."Success is doing what we're called to do and having peace there." Anthony Evans

Some part of all of us longs to be successful. Our problem is that we've let the world define just what success is. Sadly, the world's definition has penetrated the body of Christ, His church. It's not new. The disciples argued over who would have the greatest place in the Kingdom. We who call ourselves His are still doing the same 2000 years later. Jesus gently, but firmly rebuked this spirit in His followers then. He still does today.
It's been 37 years since I first sensed His call on my life. Like Abraham, I "went out" from my home "not knowing where I was going." I didn't have anything on my mind and heart except to pursue Him through that call, and discover just where He would lead me. It was a simple but beautiful walk of faith. I really didn't think about just what "success" was or if I was successful. I just followed. However, it wasn't long before I started to see the "cravings" for success seeping into the lives of my classmates, and myself. It was at first a subtle competition among us that got progressively less subtle. It culminated with the "race" to see who would be the first to get a "call" to a church upon graduation. If one couldn't be the first, you certainly didn't want to be the last. To not receive a call at all was the worst kind of failure. The seeds of competition and striving after success would only grow once we entered into ministry. Worst of all was that as rugged as competition with each other might be, the competition we had with ourselves, with our own images of success, were the worst. We are own harshest taskmasters, and it is nowhere else as lethal as it is in this area. How could this be? How could we so distort His call to be the servant of all into one that seeks first the place of honor over all? How could the call become so corrupted?
Someone said that cravings speak to our flesh, but His voice speaks to our spirit and heart. Which voice speaks loudest to you and me? Oswald Chambers said, "Notice God's unutterable waste of saints according to the judgement of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places.....Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him and we are no judges at all of where that is." This truth penetrates to the very center of where we are in every aspect of life. We are all called, and He may well have placed us in scenes of what seems to the world and us, of "unutterable waste." If we are controlled by the world's definition of success, we will be the most miserable people on earth. If our heart's desire is to please Him, faithfully follow Him, and know that we are doing so, doing just what He's called us to do, where He's called us to do it, we will have the peace Evans speaks of.

We are each of us called of and by Him. Sometimes, not often, that call leads us into the recognition of the church and even the world. God can and does use that for His glory. Far more, I believe, does He use for His glory those ones who faithfully serve and follow Him in places where no one is watching, applauding, but Him. When we know that, it is enough. It brings Him glory. It brings us peace. In our marriages, relationships, jobs, and ministries, are we in possession of that truth? Are we living as slaves to what the world calls success, or living in the abundance and victory of the definition crafted by Him? Do we follow our cravings or His voice? Two voices. Which do we hear and follow?

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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