Parodox about Success

It is one of the paradoxes of success tha the things and ways which got you there are seldom those things that keep you there.– Charles Handy


A few years ago I had an opportunity to meet and talk with Gordon Cosby, founding pastor of Church of the Savior in the D.C. area. Little did I know how the wise words of the 90-plus year old, Christ follower would impact me.

In talking with Mr. Cosby, he said many things that stirred my thinking and challenged my soul. But, one phrase he said in particular will stick with me for the rest of my life. He described many American church goers as being “addicted to the culture”. In fact, in his church a good amount of the time was spent helping people become un-addicted to the culture.

How much of our Christianity is entwined with the culture? I mean, are we truly following after Christ, or the image of Christ shaped by our culture? Do we pursue the side-effects of following Christ or do we pursue Christ? I fear many times we are held back from truly following Christ because we are so addicted to the culture that we do not realize that we are.

Vision for the Future

Proverbs 29:14 says, “Without revelation people run wild,
but one who listens to instruction will be happy.” (HCSB)

“When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
But whoever obeys the law is joyful.” (NLT)

Enough said.  Now is the time to give careful consideration of where I’m going.

I continue to read through The Man God Uses.  Here ‘s what I learned today (Chapter 2):

  • “God communicates through His relationship with us.”  (pg. 44)
  • “God doesn’t bless programs– God blesses people.”  (pg. 45)

God uses the Bible to speak to us, through relationship with us.  The two go hand-in-hand, relationship and God’s Word.

The Holy Spirit activates God’s Word in our lives.  He’s the one who moves us from knowledge to action.  Blackaby sites 3 things that the Holy Spirit does in the lives of Christians (pg. 47):

  • Reveal truth
  • Teach us through scripture
  • Convict us of sin in our lives

My prayer is to hear God clearly, to be in such close relationship with Him that I have no doubt of what He tells me through His Word or whatever method He chooses to reach me.

I just had an opportunity to listen to Henry Blackaby speak this morning in a chapel service. He shared a story about why he titled his study Experiencing God. When the publisher recommended that he title the study Knowing God because the title would be more appealing to seminary professors, he said, “Absolutely, not!” First, he did not write the study for seminary professors, he wrote it for the the common man. Second, the cry he heard from believers is less about head knowledge and more about experience with God that leads to a changed life. That’s what we need more of today, less knowledge and more heart change!

As a husband and father, I am always looking for ways to lead my family spiritually. Here’s a link to great blog post from Justin Hyde, a pastor in Brenham, Texas: How I Pastor My Family .

When many think about this verse, they think in terms of talents or resources. But I have often thought about this verse in terms of my relationships with family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, and God. Think about this verse in terms of relationship:

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”– Luke 16:10 (NLT)

I often have to ask myself if God thinks I am faithful with the relationships He has given me– with Himself and others.