The Greatest Success Possible: Self-actualization. Self determination. Hard work. Achievement. Success. A pleased God. Reward.
I was on a church retreat recently that spoke on Jeremiah 2. During a quiet moment with the Lord, surrounded in a world of self-actualization and self-determination, a sudden hard truth impressed me. Regardless of your primary purpose or calling or destiny in this life, you’re actually incapable of doing it. Doesn’t matter what it is, you are incapable of performing the one thing you are created to do by design.
Despite your most intense focus, intention, and effort, you cannot glorify God. By your own efforts, you cannot please Him. Think about that and let it sink in. How could a finite and defective being, even one that’s been redeemed by Christ, ever please an infinite and perfect one? (Isaiah 64:6) By your own efforts, you cannot stop sinning. You cannot add one day to your life. And you cannot achieve anything at all truly great. You simply lack the capability to do so on your own.
We may immediately think of some superstar celebrity names that achieved greatness. Well greatness by our standards. Truly I tell you if they did it on their own then whatever they achieved was far less than what God designed them to be. They failed. Funny, the one thing we all were ultimately created for: to glorify God, is actually the one thing we are most incapable of doing.
Depressed? It may seem sad, but it’s by design.
“My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water. They have been for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” – Jeremiah 2:13
The harder you try to make yourself under your own power a usable cistern, the more useless you become to God. Even when grace saves you under Jesus, if you continue to power forward under your own might, you’ll fail to please Him.
Only God can glorify Himself. Only infinite and eternal can satisfy infinite and eternal.
So the only way you can please God, your actual ultimate destiny regardless of what your calling may be, is to be as humble as possible. Be honest with your inner core of your condition of a being as useful as a broken cistern, sinful and useless under your own strength.
“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart O God.” – Psalm 51:17
It is through humbly becoming as much of a shell and clearing out your own determination, drive, and passions that God can finally fill Himself in you as a usable vessel. This is in stark contrast to our current culture’s understanding. It’s by breaking yourself down into a limp puppet that God can finally attach His strings. He brings you to true animated life. Then and only then when you have “self-actualized” yourself to what you really are (nothing) and have identified your greatest capability (completely incapable) is when God can finally assume control. He uses you for your real destiny. This will now be 100% by His hand alone and not one iota of your humanity.
Related Post: The Greatness of Humility
Logically, the only thing we humans are ever in control of, is the first step: removing our pride. We were never in control and capable of anything. Under God’s rule and measurement of true success, our own power and strength exists for the sole purpose of removing our own power and strength. We are to make room for *His* power and strength. Hence, the greatest thing we could ever actually “do” for God is to “undo” ourselves.
This post won’t be possible without the inspiration and support of Jesse Hunter.
Please drop your comments, and share…
Every day holds a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way. On a daily basis, in almost everything you do, you will be presented with the right way, and the easy way. Rarely do these two options have the same result. Every day your strength will be tested through your choices. Your strength is a byproduct of struggle; you must do what others don’t to achieve what others won’t; meaning, you must decide to take the right way, instead of the easy way.
The strength you have at this point in your life is a product of your willingness to struggle in the past. Your strength can be expanded and further developed through perseverance. Perseverance means to be steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. No matter how difficult the conflicts that you face may become, in order to continue to grow in strength you must preserver by making the right choice, not the easy choice! James 1:4 says, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
In order to grow and become stronger; you must never allow yourself to reach a point where you feel you have ‘arrived’ or a place where you feel that you have everything together. Don’t allow yourself to get to place where you feel that the easy choice has become acceptable for your life. You must continue to push yourself. Be okay with allowing conflict and difficulties in your life. In every season of life and in every day you must always hold the desire to grow and become stronger than the person you are right now. Always be persevering regardless of the comfort you may have to give up during the process.
Making the right choice is hardly ever the same as taking the easy way to get through a situation. Sometimes the right choice can even be draining. When I am having a difficult time pressing on and moving in the right direction, this scripture always helps to motivate me, so I wanted to share it in this post:
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Today I encourage you to persevere through whatever it is that you may be going through. Allow yourself to struggle to do the right thing; don’t just take the easy way out. In the end, you will be rewarded and you will grow stronger. Never underestimate the important of little victories in doing the right thing. No matter how big or small something may seem to be, make the right choice; it will encourage you when something big comes around to make the same right choice. I encourage you today; no matter what season of life you are in, remember to press on. Make the right choices in your life today, weigh everything you are deciding on against the Word of God. Let perseverance finish its work in you!