GOD’S VIEW OF SUCCESS
Spiritually speaking, faith is confidence that God is who He says He is and that He will do what he has promised to do.
-Andy Stanley, Visioneering
Read Philippians 4:12-18.
Several years ago, I heard a testimony that changed my life. A man near the age of seventy shared that at forty he had it all—a wife and family he loved and a job that brought him wealth and acclaim. His plans were to retire at fifty, but God had different plans. Leslie Shaw and his wife heard God’s call to serve Him as missionaries in Honduras.
When Leslie approached a Mission Board, they thought he was too old and ill-equipped without church planting skills and experience. Just as Abraham went when God spoke to him, in the same way, Leslie and his family set out for Honduras.
There were four families that promised to send monthly support, but not one check ever arrived. Food went from short supply to non-existent. Leslie and his wife got on their faces to pray, asking God if He had really told them to go. The Lord confirmed His call and beginning that day, the Lords provision arrived from people that they had not even met. There were other difficult times, but each was met with the Lord’s assurance that what He asked of them, no matter how difficult, He would provide.
I heard this testimony while on mission in Honduras, and afterwards our mission team traveled down the mountain toward the hospital that the Lord had led Leslie to build. I asked him, “How can you have such incredible faith to leave that kind of job and move to a place you’ve never seen, even with no electricity?” The truck came to a stop and we looked down the mountain to see a small village in the valley. Soon, it was completely obscured by low clouds. From our view above the clouds, we could see a gorgeous blue sky. Leslie said, “Do you see that village in the valley?” I said, “No sir, it’s covered with clouds.” Leslie looked up into the big blue sky and said, “The people of that village think it’s a cloudy day.” With that, we drove off.
The Lord spoke to me that day. When things are cloudy or difficult in my life, I can trust that God’s view is better and clearer than mine. Although we may not see how, He is able to work everything together for our good. Faith is a matter of trusting in more than your own perspective. True success is found in a life of faith and trust that results in obedience.
God may not speak so strongly to you as He did to Leslie, but He still speaks. Are you listening? Are your muscles of faith flabby from lack of use? Resolve to respond in faith to whatever issue God brings to your mind. Pray that our pastor, staff and other church leadership help us as a church to live up to our name.