Is it true that Christians only want others to believe what they believe? Do we have some kind of reward system that makes us want to convert everyone? Or do we just want them to come and hang out with us on Sunday (and Wednesday)? If we can’t get them converted, then is the next best thing to get their money, or their vote? How do Christians define “success”?
To succeed, one must have a desired outcome. What is the desired outcome of a follower of Jesus?
We can get wrapped up in the number of people we introduce to Jesus. While many people both inside and outside the faith believe we think it is a badge of honor to “win people to Jesus,” the Bible teaches that Jesus draws people to himself. We can’t convince anyone to trust Jesus.
What about doing other “good things” for God? Shouldn’t we all be trying to clean up our culture, or heal the sick and feed the poor? We should. According to Scripture, we are called to take care of people less fortunate than ourselves and to give to others and serve them. But serving others more or better doesn’t make us “successful” as followers of Jesus either.
[T]hat I may know Him… Philippians 3:10
So, exactly what is it that makes us successful as a follower of Jesus? Success is knowing and doing the will of Jesus. The more we know him, by studying his word, worshiping him and allowing other members of his body to help us grow in our knowledge of him, the more we will be like Jesus. He is busy conforming us (those who follow him) to his image. He wants us to be like him.
We succeed by knowing Jesus and becoming more like him. Anything other than knowing and following Jesus will cause us to lose our focus on Jesus and place that focus on ourselves.
Consequently, I hope to live following Jesus. No one else needs to believe in him or follow him, but I do. No one else needs to listen to him or trust him, but I do. And he promised to help me (and anyone who asks) listen to, trust, follow and obey him.
My success needs to be more time listening to, walking with, enjoying, and obeying the Son of God. Going forward, I want my life and my actions to prove I trust Jesus. How do you define success as a follower of Jesus?