How do you define success? Google gives three initial answers:
- The accomplishment of an aim or purpose
- The attainment of popularity or profit
- A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity
My Friend Bob Williamson in his Word for the Day lists four steps in his formula for success.
- Have a strong work ethic
- Work smart and surround yourself with smart people
- Delight yourself in the Lord
Google estimates that 130 million books have been published in human history. Undoubtedly a large portion of the books written are about success and how to achieve success. The challenge does not appear to be a source for information about the knowledge and the understanding of “how” to be successful, but rather a clear, correct and understandable explanation and definition of how to determine “what” success really is for each of us. Success is completely individual and is not and cannot be a comparable exercise. Yet, there is a framework and there are established parameters and guidelines that must be included in our personal definition of what our personal success really is for our understanding to be accurate and to be effective for us. Can you define, can you articulate and can you write out what success is for You? Have you done this? This is important. When each of us do this – when we define, when we can articulate and when we have written down our understanding and our belief of what defines our success – the success of our lives will reflect this clarity and this direction in our actions and in the outcomes of our lives.
For some time now, I have felt the unction from the Holy Spirit God to write the explanation of what success really is from what the Holy Spirit God has given to me about how success is defined. Even more specific, what is defined as success in the Kingdom government, system of our Creator and our God. I have known for some time that the Kingdom System of our God defines success much differently than does the kingdom of darkness. I have learned this personally through my life experiences on this planet. What society and the cultures of our world define as success are often major failures in the success system of our God. Huge successes in the Kingdom of Light are very often considered failures in the Kingdom of Darkness. We must know clearly what our Creator defines as our personal success or we will be played like a puppet on a string by society and by the cultures of this world.
To understand and to know how to define and how to measure our personal success we must know who we are eternally as well as temporarily – in time. Not just our names and the names of our lineage on the earth, but who we are and where we came from before we entered time, our origin. We are told that “before I formed you in the womb I knew you, (what does that mean?) before you were born I set you apart and appointed you (what does that mean?)”. (Jeremiah 1:5) “but when He who had set me apart before I was born (?), and who called me by His grace”. (Galatians 1:15) Our success is knowing who we are and where we came to the earth from. We are an eternal spirit. Our existence did not begin when we entered time. We were born into time from our Mother’s womb, but we existed long before. This understanding and how we interact with our eternalness forms the foundation and our basis for our success on this planet and in our eternity. Because of the ever-present expression of our senses in time (sight, hearing, touching, taste and smell) it is easy to lose sight of our eternity. The overwhelming, present reality of our earthly senses can (visually, if we look with natural eyes) overpower our eternal senses that are permanent and forever. Just as our earthly senses are to be developed by us, so do our eternal senses. We are to respond to our eternal senses as quickly as we do to earthly stimulation.
Knowing why we are on the earth is fundamental and foundational to our being successful on the earth, for our time here and for our eternity. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts (spirits) and in their mind as a divinely implanted sense of a purpose, working through the ages (time) which nothing under the sun (time) but God alone can satisfy.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 Our purpose (why we are here) is found in our eternity. Eternity lends a much different perspective on how we determine and how we measure our success than does an earthly perspective that is based in time. A very effective test for determining the accuracy of our purpose is to evaluate whether our goals are temporary or if they are eternal. Are we pursuing employment or deployment? Are our motivations based on income or outcome? It is easy to see which is eternal (where we are supposed to be) and which is temporary (has an expiration date).
A very necessary and important consideration for measuring our success is the question everyone must ask, “what happens to me when I die?”. Who we are eternally is much greater and much more important to us than the temporary period of our time. If we live for one hundred and fifty years in our time excursion, one hundred fifty years divided by eternity/infinity equals zero. How are we to measure our success? By a short period of time when considered in relation to our eternity equals zero or nothing? Are we concentrating on nothing or on eternity?
We came from eternity without time. We entered our eternity with time through our human birth. When our spirit leaves our earthly body, we will return to eternity without time. What we do while we are in time is important. The choices of our conduct and behavior in time will determine the success of what our experience will be for our eternity.
What this consideration provides for all of humanity is purpose and direction. We do not have to grope and to search for what we are supposed to be doing while we are in time (why we are here) as if there is not a plan for us. Our success is measured by our knowing the plan for us, by our understanding what the plan is for us personally and collectively, and by engaging and operating in that plan effectively. Success is not measured in how much money you have, how much power that you have, how famous that you are or how much you own. Our simple test (temporary or eternal) reveals that all of these are temporary. They do not determine your success. Success cannot be determined by anything that money can buy. Money can only buy temporary things. Money is the currency of the kingdom of darkness.
Where is the plan for our success found? Previously we read the scripture that said that our God has planted eternity in men’s spirits and in their minds as a “divinely implanted sense of a purpose, working through the ages (time) which nothing under the sun (time) but God alone could satisfy.” Our purpose for while we are in time is found and is based in our eternity and in our eternalness. When we search for the purpose which determines our success in the temporary things of our life that are based in time we will always be disappointed and unsuccessful.
In the book entitled Kingdomnomics in the Kingdom System Series, we presented the thought and the premise that we are to live our lives at the nexus – where the temporary and the eternal meet with our priority always being on the eternal.
What have we determined success to be? How can we define success in our lives? Is it personal? Is it comparable? Is our success negotiable?
Success is knowing who we are.
Success is knowing where we came from.
Success is knowing why we are here.
Success is knowing how we are to live while on the earth.
Success is knowing what happens to the real us, the eternal us when our eternal spirit leaves out body, its earthly home.
In future lessons we will further develop what success is for us personally and collectively as the Family of God, the Body of Christ and as living, breathing Citizens of the eternal Kingdom of our God. I am convinced that knowing what success is and how to define it is a great challenge and a huge void for humanity.