“This was the best year yet” I told my friends, after they sang for me at midnight on my 22nd birthday.
In the morning I sat thanking God and remembering the many things I learned and what made this year ‘the best year yet’.
If I look at this gone year through any other lens apart from my spiritual ones, it definitely wasn’t anywhere close to ‘the best’. I’ve had waiting periods that were months long, a lot of uncertainty, bad decisions, financial crisis, personal struggles etc, and I am still waiting for a breakthrough in a few areas.
In the midst of all, I can still say this was the best year yet. How?
“Every other pursuit in life seems like a dry desert when compared to the fulfillment of an intimate relationship with God”
By grace, I went from a “knowing about God” to “knowing God” relationship status this year. It began there and here are some of the key things I learned.
“The disciple is dragged out of his relative security into a life of absolute insecurity(that is, in truth, into the absolute security and safety of the fellowship of Jesus)” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The most rewarding decision you can make is to surrender your life to God. And yes, it is the hardest too. All of us like to have control over most things in our lives, but the issue is, if we try to do everything on our own, we enjoy the results of our efforts and face the consequences of our choices. And this is a never ending race filled with competition, regrets, sparks of happiness, jealousy and a never ending quest for satisfaction. A better option would be to dream bigger. And this time by surrendering our lives to the One who knows it all and is the creator of all that we desire. This could also be called “living-by-faith”. To leave a legacy of faith you have to face the risk of failure, but enduring faith always wins that battle. “Live in such a way that unless God shows up, what you’re attempting to do is bound to fail”. Faith is birthed in trust and trust is relational. Working on building your relationship with God is again the key here. But this will be your most rewarding pursuit ever.
Enduring faith :-
It is easy to have faith when you are high on faith. But God is looking for dreamers who will endure in faith even when it seems to be the end. I recently had a situation where I took a step of radical faith and have been waiting on God for the breakthrough. Although I am still waiting, He has been speaking and teaching me things I probably would’ve never learned otherwise. And one of the things He spoke is “We owe it to the world round us to endure in faith till the last minute. Because He is not looking for people who will give birth to a dream in excitement or after a powerful praise and worship session/word, and do not have the courage to endure in faith even when all hope is lost in the natural“. Faith is not just a positive feeling, it is a lifestyle. Faith is birthed in trust and trust is relational. Working on building your relationship with God is again the key here. But this will be your most rewarding pursuit ever.
Wonder what building your relationship with God means? Here’s a good read : http://www.intouch.org/magazine/content/topic/intimacy_with_god
Re-defining success :-
We live in a world where materialism defines how successful we are. Yes it is important to have all the resources required to live and do what we are called to do. And wealth is a huge part of christian life and it is from God. But the question is, what is our motive? Are our good acts (etc) just a very good excuse to hide our love for wealth and money? And I have a huge respect for all the people who handle money with the right motives. But it does not end there.
The truth is materialism has very little to do with being successful. Success is evaluated based on the purpose you were created for. How many ‘successful’ people today can say they’re doing all that they were made for? Our evaluation of success has to be based on a God given goal. Goal is to reflect His nature and do His will by being His hands here on earth and He has set the standards very high.
If we don’t change the way we see things we will believe what we see in the natural is the superior reality and that will determine what success means to us. Can you re-define your success to “an entire nation being transformed through your business?” or “God using your business to wipe out poverty?” or “you rising up to a place where you can stand up against corruption?” or “a revival in your office through you” or “you being a blessing to a beggar you see on your way to work everyday?” or “going the extra mile for something or someone you believe in?”. Let your standards for success be beyond what is humanly possible and acceptable. Go after it and starting in prayer is the best place. And while doing that, it is guaranteed that God will give you and your family way more than you could’ve ever imagined. He will make sure you lack no good thing and blessings will follow you because God is always looking for a righteous man to bless. It is His promise to those who live for Him. And well, you could imagine what it will be like, when He chooses to bless. It is very important to get our motives right before we begin.
Yes, all of the above comes over time and after encounters with God that changes our lives. But it is worth an effort from us everyday. I am very excited for this new journey of living everyday surrounded by His glory and power which comes out of His presence in us.
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