It is January of a New Year and headlines everywhere are proclaiming messages like Seven Steps to a More Successful YOU, Twelve Rungs to the Top of the Success Ladder, Achieve Success And Keep Your Sanity!
Listen, friends, I know the REAL secret of success, whispered directly in my ear from my Heavenly Father as I meditated upon His Word not so long ago.
In my desire to pursue the calling I feel God has on my life (namely writing) I’ve journeyed down a few of those guaranteed success pathways only to become overwhelmed with the number of things that must be done to reach my goals. Networking, taking classes, using every social media outlet available, taking perfect photographs, writing the most compelling articles, you get the picture. Don’t get me wrong, we are to do our best work, but trying to do everything I’m “supposed” to do is exhausting, joy robbing, and has at times left me wondering if I will ever be enough!
I’ve witnessed this in other friends as well. Competition, anxiety, self-doubt. I know some who have even dropped out of “the race” completely, labeling themselves failures.
Whatever God has called you to in life, whether it is writing, teaching, ministry, a stay-at-home mom (or dad), this world will always put pressure on you to do more and to be more. God is not like that.
On a recent morning as I was meditating upon God’s Word and writing out my
riddled with inadequacy thoughts, I came across this passage of Scripture:
“People go about making their plans, but the Eternal has the final word. Even when you think you have good intentions, He knows your real motives. Whatever you do, do it as service to Him, and He will guarantee your success.” Proverbs 16:1-3 (The Voice)
When I go about making plans without God at the center, what good can my plans come to? If I’m not doing all I do in service to Him, of what benefit is my all?
God’s desire is that I seek Him with all my heart and His promise is that when I seek Him, I will indeed find Him. What a sense of relief He gives us that we don’t have to do it all. That He will guide us and be our strength. So I commit myself, once again, to spending more time this new year seeking God. And in His presence, I will talk to Him, sure . . . but maybe I’ll spend even more time waiting on Him and listening for His Voice. He promises to lead me in the direction He has for me and, as I commit my work to Him, I can fully trust Him to work everything out the way it is supposed to be.
What is your calling in life? How will you make the most of the gifts you’ve been given? I promise you that you can strive for, and maybe even achieve, great success in your own power but it will never be the everything it could be without God’s hand in it. And,
Cease striving, lean into God, listen for His voice, follow Him, and don’t miss out on the great plan He has for your life.
“The Lord will accomplish that which concerns me (and you).” Psalm 138:8 (AMP)
All pictures taken in Boston, Massachusetts