I found this great definition of Success from Impact Ministries/Deeper DTI, and though it may be unconventional, I think it is essential because all else that is truly successful will be born out of intimacy with God.
“Success is developing intimacy with God.”
- An individual who is developing intimacy with God will make an impact on the Kingdom of God.
- A team of individuals who make an impact on the Kingdom of God will have a fruitful ministry
- We do not aim for ‘making an impact’ and we do not aim for ‘fruitful ministries.’ These two situations supernaturally occur when an individual develops intimacy with God.
We can’t control ‘making an impact’ and we can’t control ‘fruitful ministries’, but we do have control over whether we are doing anything to develop intimacy with God. It is a matter of our heart and priorities. We can’t allow anything, including ministry for God, to crowd intimacy with God out of our lives.
I know that’s not the stuff the American Dream is made of, but I think that is the highest hope any of us can have: to know the unknowable God!
The 19th Century Scottish author, Thomas Carlyle, wrote “Every noble crown is, and on earth will forever be, a crown of thorns.” When we think about success, we need to keep this in mind. Whatever success is, it must be of eternal significance. We want the best for the people we love. Jesus himself asked “Who would give his kid a rock when asked for bread?” We want those we care about to enjoy what we’ve missed, to experience what we’ve only dreamed of, to have what we’ve always wanted.
But we must remember that our dreams should focus on the eternal. Nothing we gain or achieve on this earth will last, except what we do to make an impact for the Kingdom of God. We want to succeed in life, but we need to remember that success doesn’t mean having more than the next guy. That’s why I love the definition from DTI.
There is nothing that we can have or do or feel or accomplish, that means more than knowing God. Intimacy with God is our ultimate aim, and we don’t lose out on anything in life by putting God first. He knows how to give good gifts. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.”
Put God first. Get to know Him. Gain a crown that will last.