Everyone wants to be successful. In life, people measure their success by wealth or fame. We can measure our spiritual success, too. And we should.
First of all, God wants us to be successful.
Way back in Moses’ day, God said, “…thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
We can hardly use the same measuring sticks for spiritual success as many use for physical success. How can we determine if we’re successful in God’s eyes?
There are five ways:
The Right Roots
We’ve been talking about growth, and it’s basic science that plants without roots will be stunted.
The same is true for believers. Further, having roots isn’t enough. We must have the RIGHT roots.
That means “being rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17). In the context of Paul’s letter, he specifically meant the love of Christ.
In Ephesians 3:19, Paul said we could “know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” and thereby be “filled with all the fullness of God.”
Which leads to…
Seeking to Know Jesus
Salvation is just the beginning. Once we have the Holy Spirit, we can begin our quest to be conformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).
In order to be like someone, it is imperative to know what they are like. That knowledge comes from reading, studying and meditating on the Word of God.
As we read the Bible, we will see ourselves more clearly. This should humble us, turning us toward a deeper relationship with our Savior.
Firm conviction of doctrine
A deeper knowledge of Christ instills His teachings within us.
Knowing them isn’t enough. We must believe them enough to allow them to change our lives.
This results in convictions about a standard of living. We choose where to go, what to do and who to be with based on these deep-seated beliefs.
Not swayed by another person’s Stand
I’ve met people who believe whatever their mother/father/pastor tells them to believe. They will even argue the rightness of that belief.
But in the end, they don’t have that truth embedded in their hearts. It’s just something they memorized. Something they can recite, like the Pledge of Allegiance, without really grasping the meaning at a deeper level.
When you know what you believe, why you believe it and your life shows adherence to that truth, you’re probably not going to be swayed by what someone else says.
Speak the truth in Love
In Ephesians chapter four, Paul talks at length about becoming unified in the Church (more on this over the next few month). It is clear that this is achieved when individuals become more mature.
Verses 11-16 explain how God intended for us to reach this pinnacle. In verse 15 he says we must speak the truth in love if we are to be grown up in all things.
It’s no surprise that the root and head of spiritual maturity is love. The very character of God is love (1 John 4:8). And the final proof that we are conformed into His image involves our speech.
God has marks on his fatherly wall. The tallest one indicates Christ. Where are you standing?
Are you striving to grow up and be like Christ?