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 Survival, Success or Significance?

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Female Number of posts : 147
Location : Ohio
Registration date : 2008-01-27

Character Profile
Name: Sis. Du Wright
Church Attendance: Never Misses a Church Service
Outside Occupation: Researcher

PostSubject: Survival, Success or Significance?   Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:05 pm

Survival, Success or Significance?
By Tony Miller

For centuries the Church has moved forward, not on the shoulders of "superstars," but rather through those who have borne the scars of conflict and adversity and refused to quit. Break free from old cycles and break through to your destiny.

The greatest challenge for many people who are seeking to affect change in their generation is breaking free from the “Survival Syndrome.” They spend their lives trapped in the same cycle that the children of Israel experienced in the wilderness. Because of their fear, they refused to enter the land of promise. Intimidated by the giants, they were left to wander, circling the same territory over and over.

It is these same cycles of defeat and discouragement that keep men and women, who God has destined for greatness, paralyzed and unfruitful. They find themselves always at the same point, fighting the same battles, covering the same territory. It is time to breakout.

Information is your avenue to transformation. The old adage, “junk in, junk out,” is true. The information you feed into your spirit will determine the destination of your life. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23 NAS).

I have no problem hanging out with people that do not have anything. I have been with people who did not have the nicest clothes or the highest level of education. They did not drive the best cars, live in upscale neighborhoods or have offices in ivory towers. They worked normal jobs, raised a family and faced the same situations of life that everyone else encountered. Yet, they were alive, alert and expectant.

What I do have a problem with is being with people who do not want to be anything. These people will drain your energy and creativity, rob you of your motivation and paralyze your effectiveness. Their prison is not made of metal – it is made of “mental.” In other words, they have wrong information, causing what I call “stinking thinking” that limits their impact.

A good friend once told me that most of our society is living in one of three stages of life – survival, success or significance – with the majority locked up in the first stage. Indeed, most of the world’s population spends its energy and time in the first stage trying to survive. Living from paycheck to paycheck, from crisis to crisis, their life is cyclical. They are caught in a web of Satan’s deception believing “that’s just how life is.”

This group of believers are the ones who shout over the abundant life that Jesus came to bring them on Sunday, yet are depleted of spiritual vitality by Friday. Is it any wonder why we are not affecting the world and changing the course of history? Jesus never intended for us to live our lives as a victims or in a cycle of survival. Listen to the Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah: “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NAS).

We must believe God’s opinion of our lives and our potential. We must stop living by everybody else’s opinions and experiences. We must start believing His report. The information we need to break free from that cycle is revealed by the Holy Spirit. He will be our teacher. He will walk us into freedom.

Once we experience a breakthrough in our thinking and lifestyle we can move into the second stage – success. This is where we have recognized that the plans the Lord has for our lives are good and can produce fruit that is pleasing and gratifying. Through obedience to God’s Word and patterns, we can begin to enjoy the “good of the land.” We will find that the favor of the Lord brings promotion and honor. Yet, success is never a satisfying commodity. Even after obtaining the things that are the marks of success in most people’s eyes, there remains emptiness.

I have met men who have reached the pinnacle of success in their jobs and moved to the head of the line among their peers. They have worked hard, planned well, gotten out of debt, and put their children through college. At a time when you would think they would feel a sense of joy over their success in life, they go through a crisis and want to leave their family, friends and surroundings. Why? Because success was never meant to be a satisfier. Success is only a motivator, a journey to a greater end. We were created to be successful, but that is not the end.

Sadly, for many the message of becoming successful is the end. When we make success the ultimate goal, then confusion, frustration and the cycles of emptiness begin to reappear. We were designed for significance. We were created to make a difference. Our lives were uniquely designed to fill a place that only we can fill. No one can do the job like you, no one else can take your place. Each of us are important to God’s plan and purposes.

In order for us to reach for the highest level of living, we must understand what significance is and what significance is not. Many times we confuse significance with prominence. Because someone is visible, given distinguished recognition or location, we believe they are more important than we are and should be esteemed. Yet, God is never impressed with our title, position or talent. His eyes are drawn to people who function according to design.

“For even as the body is one and {yet} has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ...But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired” (1 Corinthians 12:12,18 NAS). When we were placed in the Body of Christ, we were fashioned for fruitfulness and function. Though I may not be visible (prominent), I am still necessary and important (significant).

When I was growing up I had a friend whose mother was in a car accident. During the accident she suffered several lacerations, one of which cut off part of her nose. It was not a pleasant situation, and for many months it caused her to retreat in seclusion and embarrassment. She had a college education, a great job and respect among her peers, but she was paralyzed with fear after her unfortunate accident and dismembering.

After months of depression, one day she realized, “I am still a person of value. Nothing has been taken from me that is necessary or important for me to fulfill my dreams.” She got up the next morning, returned to work, and has enjoyed a very successful career ever since then. Your nose may be prominent on your body, but it is not essential to live or accomplish goals in life. However, you do have vital organs, such as your liver and spleen, that no one ever recognizes. Yet, without their function you would die.

In the Body of Christ today I am moved by what I see and hear. There is more emphasis put on prominence and visibility than on function and necessity. Some people believe that if it is not on Christian television or in someone’s magazine, then it is not fruitful or necessary. I challenge that thinking.

For centuries the Church has moved forward, not on the shoulders of “superstars,” but rather through those who have borne the scars of conflict and adversity and refused to quit. They are God’s unknown soldiers – they understand that what God has placed in their hands to do, no one else could do. They are willing to work, enduring difficult situations and even harsh persecution without even a moment of recognition or position. They knew that the world may never know their names, but the cause for which they were laboring had important consequences, so they were faithful.

The Holy Spirit is challenging Christians in this hour to realize we cannot live for ourselves. We must realize that we were designed for significance. That means we cannot settle for relief from the survival cycle only, nor can we be content to just succeed. We must be determined to declare, “My life will make a difference!”

Much of the religious world has become intoxicated with popularity and being “politically correct.” This is an arrogance that has overcome many preachers who think, “If I am well known and bringing in large offerings, then I am important.” Sadly, much of what is being done today in the American Church makes money and a lot of noise, but little difference in the neighborhoods and cities in which we reside.

Our significance will only be understood when we find our identity in Christ. We never really understand who we are or why we were created apart from Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul declared the truth of the ages to the philosophical group of “high thinkers” living around Mars Hill, that it is: “in Him we live...move...and have our being” (Acts 17:28 ).

The Son of God Himself was not commissioned into the ministry without revealing His identity and being given affirmation. “And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, {and} coming upon Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17 NAS).

What had Jesus done up until that point in ministry? No blind eyes had been opened, no dead person had been raised. Yet, God declared, “I am well pleased.” We must realize that we were designed by a Master Creator. His plans for us are more than just to exist – to take up space on the earth or take up space under the earth when we die. You were designed for significance. The purpose for your life involves you being an instrument in His hands to strategically impact our world!
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