How do you define success? Is it by how much money you have, the home you live in, the car you drive, the job you have, the people you hang around? That seems to be the way the world today defines success. If you are a writer, then success is based on how many books you’ve sold or how many people follow your blog. So yes, I know by the world’s standard this blog would be a flop. Or is it?
How do you define the success of God’s plan for you? You know, the plan that God has for your life. How do you know that it’s been successful? Do you go by the world’s standards of success? Is it based on how many books you’ve sold, how many blog followers you have, how many songs you’ve sold, how many mission trips you’ve been on, how many speaking engagements you’ve booked through the year, how many churches you’ve preached at? Do you attempt to do more and more and rack up those numbers so that you can say God’s plan for me has been successful?
Really – just stop.
Does God care about numbers? Seriously, does He?
Does God care that this blog has only a handful of followers?
And I lost sight of that. Actually I’ve lost sight of that for quite a while now. Worrying about whether or not anyone was seeing what I wrote, what I thought, what I did has put up barriers that kept me from moving forward and left me banging my head against a brick wall. Did I pray for that brick wall to get torn down because I just knew that this was what God had intended for me to do? Nope. Picked up my crocheting and found programs on Netflix to watch.
Now my crocheting is a good thing. I love creating beautiful things and when I stopped trying to fit in with my mother and sister by picking up knitting, I again started creating beautiful things. See, I’m not good at following patterns. I learn the basic how something is done, but then I create my own. And when I realized that this is what I’m good at, I once again was able to create items that I’ll be giving as gifts this year. Yes, I believe that is a talent God gave me. It just took me realizing that this is my thing not knitting and that’s ok to go back to doing what I love.
What just occurred to me this past week is that it’s the same thing with my writing. I’ve loved to write for years. I’ve filled notebooks and notebooks with thoughts, journals, prayers, children stories, and Bible verses. So earlier this year when I felt like God had put me in a place to actually start blogging, I was excited. Until after the first few blogs there wasn’t hardly any followers. Then I’d let it go then come back. Then let it go then come back. And still only a handful of followers. And you know what? Brick wall. I had no words. That’s when I started vegetating in front of the TV telling myself it’s ok, I’m crocheting and I’m creating something beautiful. And that part was ok. Is ok. (The crocheting part, not the vegetating.) But not the part about giving up writing because I wasn’t a success at it. Or at least not a success as defined by today’s standards. I’ve let seeking people approval come before seeking God’s approval. It’s not the first time I’ve done this so you would think I’d know by now that it’s not right. So why do I keep getting off track?
Roman 7: 15 – I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (NIV)
Oh you can say that again. For what I want do, I do not do but what I hate I do. Seeking God’s approval is what I want to do but seeking man’s approval is what I end up doing. How do I stop this?
One thing I think is realizing that’s what I’m doing, then making an effort to STOP! Then pray and do what I feel God is leading me to do.
I made that effort this week in my writing and also in the volunteer work I do with an online Bible study group. Seeking God’s approval – stepping out in faith that what I do, this urge I have felt to write and to serve is what He wants me to do. Not worrying about the numbers or if what I do will be noticed. Making an effort to not look for acceptance from others but follow the path that I feel God is leading me on.
God has given each and every single person a talent and I believe He will call us to use that talent to serve Him. If you feel the need to write, if writing is what you absolute HAVE to do then do it. If you have to cook, then cook. If you have to speak, then speak. If you have to draw, then draw. If you have to make music, then make music. If you have to make hand crafted items, then make hand crafted items. If you have to do missionary work, then go do missionary work. If you have that overwhelming urge to do something with your talent that spreads God’s Word or shows God’s love to someone then do it! Do not look to the world to measure the success of God’s plan for your life. If one person is reached and sees the love of God in what you have done, if it is just one person, then I believe that you can say that God’s plan for your life is a tremendous success.
So according to the world’s standards this blog is a flop. But according to God’s it’s a success. Because I stepped out in faith and did what He asked me to do.