What Makes You Successful?

Young woman reading bible by river in summer

Are you successful? What do you feel makes you successful? How do you define it?

The dictionary defines success in this way:

• the attainment of popularity or profit: the success of his play.
• a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity: I must make a success of my business.
• archaic the outcome of an undertaking, specified as achieving or failing to achieve its aims: the good or ill success of their maritime enterprises.

Often while praying with friends, these women of wisdom that the Lord has placed in my life, will ask Him to help me to not put unrealistic expectations on myself. They remind me that God does not have a measuring stick in Heaven by which He measures all that I do. Most days, I believe He, as well as others, are measuring both what I do and what I don’t do. I find myself  trying to live up to unrealistic standards placed on myself, by myself, as well as trying to live up to the world’s standards of success. To the world, I would be viewed as unsuccessful based on the fact that:

  • I don’t own a home
  • I don’t have a college degree.
  • I don’t have a lot of money.
  • I don’t take elaborate vacations.
  • I don’t have it all together.

The list goes on. At age 47, I have been spending too much time focused on what I have not done, and what I don’t have. Countless hours have been exhausted grieving over missteps, losses, misguided decisions, and unfortunate circumstances. And because I’ve allowed my mind to be filled with my misfortunes rather than looking at the blessings that are all around me, I am often paralyzed from moving forward into pursuing the heart of God and his plan and purpose for my life.

A wise man once said,

“I am loved (by God) and I am a lover (of God), therefore I am successful.”Mike Bickle, Director, International House of Prayer, Kansas City.

Is it really that simple? Absolutely! God does not measure my success based on the expectations I put on myself or by the world’s standards. He does not measure my success on where I live or how much money I have. He measures my success based on my heart attitude of love.  He loves me. I love Him. If I were to do nothing else, I would get an “A” for success simply for these reasons!

Success is not owning a home.
Success is building the home of my heart and filling it with His love.

Success is not a college degree.
Success is growing in the knowledge of God and in deeper intimacy with Jesus.

Success is not money in the bank.
Success is freely giving the time and resources that I do have.

Success is not elaborate vacations.
Success is making memories where God has placed me now.

Success is not having it all together.
Success is being willing to admit I am not perfect and fall short.

The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lordcaused all that he did to succeed in his hands. (Genesis 39:2-3 ESV)

Beloved, know that no matter what season you are walking through, the Lord is with you, and He is pleased with you, right where you are. I pray that you will see yourself as successful in His eyes today simply because you love Him and He loves you!

3 Responses to What Makes You Successful?
  1. Beth
    September 12, 2013 | 4:58 pm

    I can’t believe I almost missed this. I loved this —> “He measures my success based on my heart attitude of love.” I’m so grateful for how God has changed my heart on this. I was previously one who always thought I needed more to be considered successful, and my family suffered greatly because of this. This is a such a powerful message. Thank you my friend.

  2. Susan
    September 16, 2013 | 8:02 am

    So good, Barbie! This timely word echoes today’s JesusCalling devo: that we don’t have to perform for Him, and that His boundless love is unconditional. What a great way to begin the week!

  3. Fritz Chery
    March 16, 2016 | 10:47 am

    I think we can all fall into the trap of defining success as unbelievers do. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be successful or have a big name. I am greatly loved by God. God has taught me true success is living for Him. I loved what you said, “success is making memories where God has placed me now.” We all neglect this. These memories that we store are going to remind us of the goodness of the Lord. How faithful He has been. Thank you for your great reminders.

    Jeremiah 17:7 7 But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.