Daily Devotional for Tuesday February 11, 2003
With God All Things are Possible!
With God, ALL things are possible! I am greatly troubled by the late night infomercials, the all-day conferences, the plethora of motivation books, tapes, and videos available that tell people you can be successful if you just want it bad enough. Success is a state of mind. This PMA (positive mental attitude), self-help philosophy has been around for a long time, but just in the last 20 years has it become very mainstream and marketed to the general population.
Let me say, there are some very fine Christian men and women involved in this business, but the basic message that we can do it all by ourselves is straight from the pits of hell itself. That message is directly refuted by Jesus in today's scripture when He says that "with man this is impossible". He goes on to say, "all things are possible with God." In context that scripture is dealing with how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. But there are other places, like John 15:5 where He says, "apart from me you can do nothing". My friend, in our own strength, we don't have the ability to accomplish anything that has eternal consequences. The only way that we can do anything that will stand the test of eternity is in the strength that the Lord gives us.
The root of the problem lies in the fact that God has blessed us with tremendous minds and great talents. With these abilities, we can do so much that it gives us a false sense of confidence. We get to a place where we think that we can do anything and don't need God. Then the motivational gurus come along and reinforce that all we have to do to be successful is have the inner strength to overcome life's obstacles. That sounds great, and the lie is perpetuated in our own mind because there is a certain level of success we can achieve with the God-given talents that we possess. However, the perversion is that without God the success is fleeting, and never deeper then whatever success you can achieve in this life. You see, the truth is that true success can not be measured in dollars and cents, but in the fruit of our labor for the Lord. That type of success can only come from one book, which I might add, is by far the greatest motivational book ever written...the Bible!
I am not in any way trying to say that we should not try to be all we can be, or look to be successful in our careers or life, but our priorities MUST be correct. Our number one goal should not be success by this world's standards, but success by God's standards. I guarantee that if you become a success by God's standards, you will know the true meaning of success. While we need to pay attention to storing up treasures in this life to help sustain our life and that of our family, we must be just as concerned with storing up treasures in heaven, since it is those treasures that will endure for eternity.
I love you and care about you so much. I don't want to see you fall into the trap of working so hard, trying so hard to be a success in this world, and miss being a success for God. The gifts that He has blessed you with are to be used to serve Him. Don't ever fall for the lie that you can do anything in your own strength. Nothing of eternal significance can be done unless it is done in the strength that God provides. In HIS strength we can do all things!
I will be praying today that you keep focused on being successful for God. That you take the talents He gave you, submit to His will each day and operate in His strength to be all you can be for the Lord. I leave you with this verse to ponder today. "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller