I am very driven. I have so many goals and aspirations; I hope that I live an extremely long life so I have a slim chance of maybe being able to achieve all of them! There are so many different ways of doing life and paths that supposedly lead to success. I have, mainly through trial and error, fumbled my way through trying to be as effective as possible. Recently however, during a morning devotion, I found the answer to which path is the right path. Three essential keys. These are the three keys on how to live a successful Christian life. Three principles I know that I want as the foundation of my life moving forward.
No one serving as a soldier gets entangles in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 2 Timothy:2:4-7
- God mission
Live to please God. Get your life mission from God. He is our commanding officer. We all set someone or something up over us as our commanding officer. It can be our parents, others opinions, our boss, spouse, kids or even ourselves! I used to be in the military and we were not only legally bound to follow the orders of our commanding officer, but we knew that it was important as they knew the bigger picture. Our platoon or section’s task was only a part of the picture. By following orders we had a greater chance of personal success as well as team success. If I chose to ignore orders and do my own thing, not only do I put myself at great risk but also all those around me. To be truly successful, we need to submit to God as our commanding officer. Not only that, we need to fight against striving for the approval of others. Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
We can all easily fall into the desire to live to please those around us, however when we make choices that we would not otherwise make, just to please those people around us, we start to skate on thin ice. The moment we start living to please people, we are set to go off course and make decisions and choices that will steer us away from where we really want to go. Remember that Jesus is for people anyway so by following God mission you will end up more influential anyway. Matthew 22:37 tells us,“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”
Get your God mission and live to please God.
2. Play according to the rules
Like an athlete trains and competes we need to do that same according to the Word of God. This is our rule book. When we ‘cheat’ we are either ineffective or our reputation is destroyed. We have all seen an athlete who, once at the top of their field, is found to have been cheating and the public disgrace that follows. Take Lance Armstrong for instance. The worlds greatest road cyclist – found to be using performance enhancing drugs, and every world title that he had won was stripped away from him. When you google ‘Lance Armstrong’ the introductory line is, ‘Lance Edward Armstrong is an America former professional road cyclist, infamous for the biggest doping scandal in cycling history.’ There is nothing about his achievements or his success – his cheating proceeds him now whenever his name is mentioned. He may have won some championships purely by his great talent, however by not playing to the rules, even those are not discredited. He lost it all. When we don’t play by the rules, everything we have built can be stripped away in an instant, and anything you did build initially by the rules is now discredited.
3. Be a hard worker
Like the farmer, those that are hardworking, will produce a strong and fruitful crop and be one of the first to harvest. Slow and steady doesn’t necessarily win the race, it is someone willing to put in the hard work. Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense. Proverbs 12:11
Quick fixes, easy wins, get-rich-quick schemes – they are all shallow and lack longevity. Nothing that grows quickly has deep roots. Hard work takes….hard work. I believe there are many people out there who love God and seek his guidance for their lives and they play by the rules yet when it comes to picking up a shovel (figuratively speaking), they disappear. To say “if it is a ‘God-thing’, then it shouldn’t be this hard” is nonsense. God asks us to work hard. Right from the start, ‘the Lord God took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.’
God mission, play by the rules and work hard. Three essential keys to reach your full God-given potential. Three keys that, when used in your life, will unlock doors that would otherwise never be opened .