I open up with one simple question, “Why has the church become so obsessed with the idea of success and influence?” Everywhere, I meet pastors and Christians in the workplace who are worrying themselves sick wondering if they are going fast enough in the pursuit of their calling. As a remedy, they try to learn every tip on how they can springboard their lives towards success. Success is a funny thing. You can spend your entire life chasing it and never find it. I know of this trap because I was in it for the first three years of my ministry. I can remember giving myself stomach ulcers comparing where I was in my journey against where I wanted to be on my five-year plan.
FIVE-YEAR PLANS ARE DANGEROUS BECAUSE THEY DO NOT FACTOR IN THE PROCESS OF DYING THAT MUST HAPPEN IN A DREAM IN ORDER FOR IT TO COME ALIVE.
The Bible says in Proverbs 3:6 “In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” Those twelve words literally changed my life. You see, I was standing on the wrong side of the dream. I was spending my life trying to direct my own path when all God wanted me to do was to acknowledge Him with whatever He put in my hand. The worst thing about chasing success is that we chase influence rather than process of transformation that always leads to even more success.
One day, I realized that I was just going to use what God put in my hand and live for a great cause. I bought three food bags a day with my own money and put them next to my desk that I moved outside the church on the sidewalk. I just started using anything that was in my hand. In that process, something began to happen. I NEVER WORRIED A SINGLE DAY FROM THAT POINT ON ABOUT BEING A SUCCESS. Three bags have now turned into 40,000 people a week being fed, not even thinking about the word success.
Please liberate yourself from comparing yourself to others’ success and where you want to be. Just get busy acknowledging Jesus by using what He gives you and loving the process of giving it away. There is no secret, there is no shortcut, it’s simply acknowledging Jesus with everything He chooses to give you. I thank God that he didn’t give me my five-year success plan. My plan was 500 people in my church; God’s plan was a 400,000 square foot hospital for the hurting in my city and thousands in the church. My five-year plan had me standing on the pulpit causing our church to grow through my preaching. God’s plan, through acknowledging Him, had me and the church serving our way to success.
Don’t get caught up in the success cycle. Just get busy serving, loving, and getting rid of every blessing God gives you like a hot potato. Life is so much more fun when you’re serving and loving people than trying to propel yourself into a mythical place called success, which really means nothing in the big scheme of the servant-oriented kingdom of God.