"God may allow His servant to succeed when He has disciplined him to a point where he does not need to succeed to be happy. The man who is elated by success and is cast down by failure is still a carnal man. At best his fruit will have a worm in it." --- A.W. Tozer
Read Tozer's quote on a friend's facebook page recently. Hit me hard because I've been on the journey of learning this God-lesson myself right now in my ministry.
Think about how true Tozer's statement on leadership really is. When things are going "well" for us in life and ministry ... we are "happy" and feel "successful." Not only that - we feel like we are more of the person God has designed us to be. But when things aren't going great for us, when we struggle and seem unproductive in our pursuits ... we are "unhappy" and feel like "failures." And this, too, reflects on how we feel about ourselves and our relationship to God. IN THE END it's a never-ending kind of tug-of-war where success sometimes is winning, and where other times failure gets the upper hand.
So what are we to do? That is the all-important question. My journey has brought me to the place where success is not as "grand" as it used to be. For a time I thought something was wrong with me for having this attitude - but in the end I'm learning that this is right where God wants me. Because in the same way my failures don't hurt nearly as much as they used to. Again - right where God wants me to be. I'm learning that to depend on success or fear failure is to have the wrong focus. When focused on God, no matter the outcome, we can do the Kingdom work God has for us.
One last thought - look at the cross. Talk about something that looked like failure in the world's eyes. But God used it to bring about the greatest work the world has ever know - salvation!
May we die to ourselves so that we can more fully live for Christ!
Taking the drive,