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December 5, 2018, 10:33 AM

Set Backs That Lead to Set Ups for Success...

Set Backs that Lead to Set Ups for Success:


As I approach the New Year...I tend evaluate where I am at in my life?  What it is that I need to change?  What do I disengage from and re-engage in?  Am I successful?

How do we define success?  By what model do we use to measure that?  Is success truly “individual”?  What does God say versus what does our “worldly mindset” say?

I believe if we look at society today…the world defines success as having the high-paying career, large homes, luxurious cars, expensive clothes, fine dining, extravagant vacations,….mainly by the “material things”.  But I would like to challenge each and every one of us to consider what success looks like to God.  I do believe God wants us to prosper and be in good health, and that HE gives us the ability to get wealth.  I don’t believe “poverty” is His will for us. 

So many things are found in the following verses:

John 15: 4I As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.


If we “BEAR FRUIT” and the fruit remains…then we GLORIFY the Father.  To me this is success!

If we consider what JESUS did for us…I would think that the most important factor for him would be to walk as HIS follower, obeying the things he said for us to do.  Obviously the two most important things that HE commanded for us to do in our life was to LOVE HIM, and LOVE OTHERS. 

He told us to go into all the world..and preach the gospel to every creature so that all that believe and is baptized shall be saved, to teach all nations, to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils.  God has given us a divine purpose.  Some of those things may look like: 

Our purpose is to do what is right, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of others. (2 Corinthians 8:21)

God’s divine power has given us everything we need to live a truly religious life through our knowledge of the one who called us to share in his own glory and goodness. In this way he has given us the very great and precious gifts he promised, so that by means of these gifts you may escape from the destructive lust that is in the world, and may come to share the divine nature. For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love. These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:3-8)

I have gone about among all of you, preaching the Kingdom of God. And now I know that none of you will ever see me again. So I solemnly declare to you this very day: if any of you should be lost, I am not responsible. For I have not held back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God. So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he made his own through the blood of his Son. (Acts 20:25-28)

We are all looking for our divine purpose, and to achieve success in that purpose.  Could it really be all about what Jesus came to do? 

In life, I do believe that we have so many things that we are AFRAID to START for fear of failure…and what that failure is defined as.  I believe that sometimes the way we navigate through life is to “try new things” in order to discover that those “things” are not for us.  I don’t believe this defines us as failure, but could possibly define us as CORAGEOUS!??  I believe the biggest REGRET we will have at the end of our life is to just NEVER START something for Fear of Failure!  I also don’t think that things that we do can be wrapped up in a neat and tidy little package, as there are so many things that come into play when we attempt to move into a new adventure in our lives.  I do believe there are certain things in life that we can “bring in for a landing” or a “FINISH”…but other tasks that we take on in life will NEVER be so called “FINISHED”..that there are “eternal callings”, such as being a parent.  I also believe that there are many circumstances and decisions that others in our life make that will have an impact on what we are trying to accomplish…and this is completely out of our control.  Some would call these setbacks that stop them from achieving their calling, I say they are set-ups that will propel you into your purpose!!

So the question is….do we attempt to start a new endeavor with all the unknowns that accompany it?  Will we be successful in this endeavor?  What defines that?

What is the definition for Success?  Merriam-Websters defines it as “getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame”. 

However, there have been many foremost authors, inventors, and entrepreneurs that may have differing opinions on what “DEFINES SUCCESS”.

Legendary Basketball coach John Wooden says … “Success is a peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best YOU that you are capable of becoming.”

Author Stephen Covey said that the definition of success is deeply individual.  He said, “If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you in the “funeral experience,” he told the New York Times, “YOU will find YOUR definition of success”.

So this brings me to a personal place of self reflection as I approach the end of year 2018, how do I define success?  What does that look like for me?  What have I achieved and been successful with in my own personal life? What have I not?  Does surviving life’s trials make you an overcomer?  Is being an overcomer success?  I think this is a part of SUCCESS…

What are the rewards for simply being an “overcomer”?  We can read all of them in the Book of Revelation 2:7, 2:11, , 2:17, 2:26, 3:3, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21.

How does God define success?  What is HIS purpose for us?

If we look in the Bible…we find a number of mandates:   Love God, Love People.  Preach and point others to Jesus.  Follow Jesus.  Be obedient to His Word.  I want to “know HIM”, in a close and personal relationship. 

As we approach the upcoming New Year and most of us will do a deep assessment on where we are currently in our own lives…have you been pressing toward success defined by a “world culture”…or are we pressing into what Jesus asked us to do?

To me…success I believe is really lining up with what the Lord has asked each one of us to do, but more important…putting our priorities in line…LOVE GOD first, LOVE OTHERS next. 

Are there relationships in your family that need to be re-prioritized, to be cultivated to bring the restoration and healing that is so needed?  Are there marriages in trouble because we have put careers first over the love of our lives?  Are there friends that you have neglected at the expense or working harder to achieve more material things?  Have we neglected our health due to all the demands on our schedule?  Do we ever slow our roll long enough to smell the proverbial roses…to just simply….. BREATHE?

This holiday…I say…SLOW DOWN…take some time to BREATHE in the breath of God….re-examine where your life is at and where you want to go.  Then take a step of courage…and STEP OUT into the unknown…to achieve success …well …let GOD define that for you.  Don’t let fear overtake you! 

Be the CORAGEOUS son or daughter of GOD he intended you to be! 

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