DayBreaks for 3/21/14 – The Seduction of Success
If one looked at my life, it would be relatively easy to conclude that I have not been that successful. I don’t have a boat or a sports car. I question whether or not I’ll ever be able to retire (not taking into account if such a thing is Biblical or not) or if I’ll have to work until I drop. There are days when I must say that I do look back at decisions I have made with questions in my mind as to whether or not the right decision was made.
Still, I have truly come to believe that success, in the eyes of the only One Who matters, has nothing to do with piles of cash or stock certificates, nor with guarantees of comfortable living and retirement. Please understand: I’m not holding myself up as a role model on this – I’m just thinking out loud with you!
I see people scrambling every day to reach the next rung up on the ladder of worldly success so that they can pay bills, buy newer cars, build bigger houses and roam the world in retirement. And I see so many of them doing so at the sake of their souls. One look in their weary, bleary eyes tells me all I need to know: they have sacrificed their soul on the altar of success. That’s bad enough, isn’t it?
But there is something that scares me far more than that. They are adults – and they have a God-given right to make their decisions about what they will pursue and treasure. If they choose to chase after worldly success, God will allow them to do so. Here, however, is what terrifies me: they are, more often than not, sacrificing the souls of their children on the same altar. Mom and dad are so busy that the children are left to play and grow alone. Parents try to compensate for this by packing the weekends full of sport-related activity for the kids.
The day will come when we will stand before Almighty God and answer His questions relating to our life. No matter how much money or security or success we may have had in the world, on that day such things will be totally meaningless. They will not impress God one tiny bit. What we taught our children about life and success and God will matter. And they don’t learn that by playing sports. They learn that from watching mom and dad as they navigate daily life, as they observe the values that mom and dad hold dear, the things for which mom and dad are willing to sacrifice.
Are you chasing the American dream? The American dream is not God’s dream. God’s desire for us isn’t wealth (in spite of what some health-and-wealth “preachers” proclaim), but that we pursue Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds. If we do that, Jesus says we’ll have the things we need for life – but not necessarily riches. There’s a reason Jesus talked about money more than any other single topic – it is because poison lies within. If God had wanted all believers to be fabulously wealthy He could have waved a heavenly magic wand and it would be so! Instead, He warns us over and over again about money and what it can do to us.
The man who built bigger barns should be a sterling example for us all. Children who are saved will be the greatest measure of success of any parent. All else pales in comparison!
Luke 12:16-21 (NLT) –Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ 21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
PRAYER: How very foolish we are, Lord, to yield to Satan’s trap for us! Give us eyes to see the destiny to which Satan would lead us and help us not to be stupid any longer! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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