There is an unfortunate perspective that creeps into the Body of Christ at
times which tends to twist the definition of success, making it much like the
world’s interpretation. In so doing, significance becomes inseparable from those
Such misperception can be exampled in a clouded view that God’s
expectations are not being met because you don’t do enough, touch enough lives,
spend enough time serving, or any host of items on a list of requirements. At other
times it can be silly perceptions such as your worship lacks purity because you are
not jumping, shouting, dancing wildly or falling on the floor. Or, you are
worshipping excessively, singing too loud, dancing with abandon, and therefore
irreverent and out of order. People thus spy out the liberty of their brother,
demanding conformity to an expectation, measuring someone else’s success
thereby. Honestly, these types of misguided perceptions are why many churches
and Pastors measure the move of God amongst them by the response of the crowd
and steady numerical growth, rather than the person, presence and power of God
being the singular objective. It is an absurd standard to say the least.
Never let anyone challenge your significance, nor let the expectation of
success assigned for you by others be the gauge of accomplishment. Success can
only be measured in the pleasure of our Father. If I sound out my singular voice
like a small pebble cast into a vast ocean, can I measure my success by the tepid
response of people? If I do, my small ripple will seem incredibly insignificant.
Perhaps I cease to cast my pebble altogether because the potential for impact with
people on the pre-measured scale of accomplishment is minimal at best.
But if I cast my small pebble for the pleasure of my Father, the joy of His
approval stands as the only success I need- the only ripple that matters. Suddenly,
my small ripple seems so important. If I cast my pebble faithfully, at the pleasure
of my Father, is that not great accomplishment in the eyes of God? Though my
heart is for people, the power of my ripple is by no means measured by their
response, nor the volume of my success heard in the cry of approval from the
crowd. One only need to look at the life of Jesus and know this to be true. Crowds
came and went depending on their fickle response to the challenge of His
teaching. In the end, virtually all abandoned Him in the hour of His greatest
success. Whether they stayed or left never determined His course of action. The
driving motivation of His life was to always do those things that pleased the
Father; things the crowd often did not understand.
A friend of mine commonly asks, “If God calls you to sit in a cubical the rest
of your life, with no prominence amongst people or great following behind you,
would you be satisfied?” Though the point is multi-faceted, it provokes the heart
to be content with who you are in Christ and let His pleasure be the measure of
your success. If I live from such a place, impact on people around me is
inevitable. After all, a small pebble from God slays giants, while a giant stone
from the world serves only as a weight upon the soul.