The Bane of Success
Revelations 3:17 You say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
When in life have you prayed with the most intensity and passion? When in life have you most desperately sought God? Was it in times of prosperity and success or was it in times of need and disaster?
For me, I have no doubt. I know that I have pursued God with the most passion when my life was the most chaotic. Success and self-sufficiency have never motivated me to pursue him. It has only been in my desperate need that I have been motivated to desperately pursue God.
The truth is of course, that I am always in dire need. It is just that in my success and prosperity, I become ignorant of that need. When I rely on self, I do not see my need for God and I do not seek him. I cannot miss this point: My prosperity does not alleviate my need for God. It just blinds me to it. The reality is, we all are in desperate, constant need of God.
When Jesus said, blessed are the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3), He was saying that it is those who think themselves to be successful that are actually the cursed. The difference between the two is not in how much they have, but rather in how clearly they see their need. We all need, only those who see it are driven to God. The self-sufficient are blind to their need.
We all get frustrated by our deficiency and poverty. We all wish we did not have certain defects. It is miserable to always play the beggar, unless I can see my need as that which keeps me clinging to God. When I see my defect as the thing that drives me to my knees before him everyday, then I can embrace my defect and be thankful for it. As it turns out, I need my need.
When I am honest, I see that I do not have to seek out new disaster to find God. My motivation is as far away as my honesty about my infinite defects. As long as I am in this flesh, I will have a fresh supply of defect that will either seduce me away from God or motivate me to him, depending on my response. It is only in honesty, humility and obedience that I can use my insufficiency to keep me focused on God. I do not have to wait for the next life crisis to motivate me, I have plenty of defect right here, right now.
I spend very little time trying to convince others of their need for God. Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick (Mark 2:17). If someone does not need God, then he or she just does not need God. I am not going to try and convince anyone otherwise. I am going to share God’s love and healing with those who are desperate for it. I am going to choose to remain aware of my own defect and I am going to use that need to keep me focused on God.