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Does Living in God’s will Guarantee Success?

This is part 2 of a series on setting godly goals and living God’s will. See part 1 here

Just the other day I came across someone’s comment to a blog post –the writer wanted to live out God’s will for her life and she felt strongly that she was being called to work from home and homeschool her child. Her statement was “if only God would move in my life, then I could be happy again.”

Authors and speakers who talk about goal setting and living our best life all give the impression that life will be happy if we discover the true desires of our heart and then set a goal to achieve that desire. Even as Christians we fall prey to the “pursuit of happiness” idea: if I get my life in alignment with God’s will, then I’ll be happy. Almost as if God withholds happiness until we get our act together.

This is a works mentality that says as long as I am doing the right things, God will be pleased and will bless me with happiness, health, prosperity, good relationships, or whatever else we define as “success.”  Be honest here, when you think about living in God’s will, what do you envision?

  • What does that look like?
  • What is the benefit?
  • Do you see yourself having the perfect career that uses your gifts and talents for the good of God’s kingdom?
  • Do you imagine a life where everything works out well, where you have whatever it is you define as success?

Don’t ponder on this, just write down or notice whatever pops into your mind first. That will be your most honest answer.

I must confess that those are leading questions because I want to make a point. I believe many of us (or at least I know I do) set our minds on what we should be doing for God with the assumption that if we are doing the right things, or living in the right situation, or marry the right person, or muster up the discipline to never sin, we will please God and He will bless us in return.  Our lives are focused around us, and what we are or are not doing. We expect that our success and our happiness are in direct correlation to our performance.

I want to challenge that belief. Success as a Christian is not found in doing the right things, it is found in being who God calls us to be. When we pursue that goal, we will find success, but not the kind you may expect. Pastor Charles Stanley defines success as the continuing journey toward who you were created to be. I like that definition. A successful Christian life is not measured by what we do; it is measured by who we become along the way.

God wants us to live by certain principles and values, regardless of the situation we are in. As we grow and mature in those attitudes, we are becoming more like Christ. We are moving along the journey toward who we were created to be.

How can you be sure the desires in your heart that we talked about last time, are put there by God? If those desires center around being more like Christ, they are from God. If you long to bring joy, kindness, encouragement, peace, patience and love into the world, you can be sure those are the desires God placed in you.  Working toward those goals may not bring you worldly success, but then again, they may. That’s up to God. Either way, it doesn’t matter, because you will be storing up treasures in heaven. You will come to the end of your days and hear “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

Find God’s will for your life with this insightful, inspiring, free eBook:

Know God’s Will

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About Susan Scott