Success has many many facets to its character.
In order to address todays topic…
We need to first acknowledge that each person alive has different values and needs.
Marriage might equal success to one person, yet to another marriage is misery.
A six-figure income might mean power and freedom to one person, while to another it means fear and bondage.
To one woman beauty might be her indicator of success, yet to a different woman beauty might end in anorexia.
This reminds me of the famous song “The Grand Illusion” by the STYX.
In that song they tell how we are all feel so insecure because of our neighbors APPEAR to have the perfect lives,
but, that it’s all just a grand illusion because deep inside we are all the same.
I have learned to never judge a persons happiness by how they appear in public.
Today I want you to also start to view people through a different lens.
I want you to identify exactly what success means to you personally.
In order to do this you will need to get really clear on what your values are.
How do you feel about subjects like God, Family, Country, Empathy, etc?
I encourage you to sit and write these all down.
Then make a copy and hand it to your best friend, your spouse, a co-worker, anyone who will be willing to hold you accountable to your core values.
It is only through honest living that we can ever hope to learn the art of surrender.
When we know our own core values and practice them daily, we naturally begin to loosen our grip on life, and start learning to trust ourselves, and especially God.
I pray that you will start to view success as an undertaking driven by a healthy conscience and a deep desire to improve yourself and to be of service to others, no matter what your job is.
Success is when you can give your all, then let go of the results.
Can you see yourself being content and calm whether or not you land the job, the relationship, or any other goal?
Each and every outcome offers you beautiful lessons in surrender.
There is a common Daoist saying that I really love,
“If you have never met failure, you have never succeeded.”
As painful as failure is, sometimes you try your best, give it everything, and still don’t meet the goal.
Failure can be a blow to your ego like nothing else ever can, but your heart has the ability to deal with that failure successfully without allowing you to fall into the habit of helplessness or cynicism.
A person who handles failure with Grace, is truly a powerful person, and one to be admired.
I often wonder why Marvel Comics never created a super hero who came to the rescue of the hopeless by showing them the way to master the fine art of wielding power with humility, while maintaining a sense of the sacred.
A hero who is never tempted by the ego, and lives his entire life having never been seduced by his ego’s temptations.
But luckily for us…
We have one such hero as an example to follow.
This hero loved humanity with a perfect love.
He possessed such perfect humility, that he was willing to step down from his throne and wrap himself in human flesh so he didn’t kill everyone who looked upon him.
He was willing to be mocked, tortured, and betrayed while never once allowing his ego to derail his mission.
He laid down his very life so that he could take it back up once again, thus becoming the first-born in resurrection.
I am thankful every single day for the love of this super hero.
(You can read all about his life and escapades in the most read, most published book of all times.)
My hero is Jesus.
Make him your all in all, and you will be so far ahead of the game.
With Him in your corner, surrender is actually a very natural process.
Without him, you will chase after the worlds standards of success, and it will cost you dearly.
The cost of worldly success to your soul and others who live life in close proximity to you can be disastrous without integrity in the mix.
Success can lead to a thriving career, but it needs to also be a reflection of how you deal with ALL aspect of living your life, not just your career.
Instead of simply getting what you want, it’s the quality of who you are as a person along the way that matters.
In (Matthew 16:26) We are asked a very pointed question,
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
What is power?
How can you constructively harness it?
Power is Strength
In the world power is equated with your ability to get things done, to affect people, to create positive change, to achieve a quality of life.
Sometimes it’s simply having a hand to hold.
A friend to talk to that you can trust.
But POWER to me, is when I am aware that if something isn’t working in my life, I have the faith, the skills, and the determination to change that thing and regain balance in my mind.
It is an elegant balance to be in the world but not of it.
We find this council in the book of (Romans 12:2)
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
By the constant renewal of your mind, God will use the power of his Spirit to transform you.
If you can learn to release your pride.
Begin to commit, to making God your EVERYTHING…
I promis you that life will begin working out for your good no matter how difficult the trials, or failures may appear.
God is mighty and can transform them into blessings if you will allow him to dwell in your heart so he can change you.
Power obviously has many different levels and interpretations.
To claim your full power, the kind that strengthens with time, you MUST address all areas of your life in a surrendered way.
Learn to stop holding on too tightly to anything.
Begin to reach further than what you can see in the physical world so you can start to tap whats deep inside of you.
Otherwise, you might find yourself wrongly perceiving money, position and your relationships as the only areas of success that matter, the only markers that can make you feel powerful.
This mindset IS the “Grand Illusion” of our linear minds which as we all know, is notoriously blind to its very own limitations.
To really experience power, start to allow God to be your Everything.
When you feel stressed, remind yourself to “Be still and know that he is God”
He knows your future, and he will guide you safely to it.