All I Need to Be Successful Is Jesus
Now I'm not gonna lie. Once you get into the God's groove things do seem to level out. Perhaps the first and most significant thing is that you get peace.
You might get more, too. Dreams that come true, people getting healed under your hand, you getting healed of addictions, trauma from the past, and other stuff. Purpose, life's call, and a feeling deep within of being significant.
And, yes, if I must say the word, success (but not always).
But those are just by-products of the Real Deal. The problem is that people have a "You with me, Jesus, and I'll go far" motivation for considering him as a spiritual component in their life. They see Jesus as a self-help guru who, with him at their side, they can finally be the person they've always dreamed they would be, have that perfect spouse, with that perfect house, in that perfect world.
The door swings the other way too - almost negating the very reason for his coming in the first place. It arises from a certain smugness that says, "I am doing pretty good on my own. I'm successful, I have this, I have that. I don't need Jesus to make me happy. Heck, look at me. I'm already the 'cat's meow.'"
To be clear: Jesus didn't come, teach, die, and rise for our success. He did all that for our deliverance, to offer forgiveness, and to assure us of his life on both sides of death.
He addresses an entirely different level of humanity - our need for a saviour. That's why modern followers of Jesus may not have it all together according to the worlds' standards. They may not know how to use a power tool, balance a checkbook, or speak two languages. They may even have deep character fissures in their hearts that get them into trouble (something abhorrent to some.)
"And he says he's a Christian. That thing that he's doing is not very ... Christian."
But that person has heaven in their heart. He or she is a work in progress. They aren't trying to be perfect, day in and day out making something of their life. They don't need to. They have Jesus.
And, if one thinks that Jesus is for losers, recall that some of the greatest thinkers in the world were people who's idea of success came far distant to their priority of God. Folks like: Nicholas Copernicus, Sir Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler,Galileo Galilei, Pascal, Newton, and right on down the line. I could share names of Fortune 500 CEO's, celebrities, and even nobody's helping flood victims after Hurricane Harvey - all who share a common belief in God. But you can Google that for yourself.
The point is that all people need a saviour. Jesus has provided that. Success, perfect character, people who are mean by nature or smart by nature or dumb by nature - these traits have nothing to do with Christianity, other than perhaps it would be hoped that the character of Christ would work itself into the heart of the person carrying him.
So toss away the "Jesus will get me rich, successful, happy, perfect, and married philosophy." It could happen. But that would be the fruit of his love towards you as you humbly die to yourself to rise to life with him on the last day.
The one thing he does promise is persecution. But I'll save that for another BLOG.
Holy One, I lay my life before you. I open my heart before you. Do what you will with the temporal parts of my life and fill me with the eternal parts of your life. This I pray in the Name of Jesus, who makes me successful in your eyes, and yours alone, which is good enough for me. Amen.