I was having lunch with a friend who was sharing war stories of her industry. She revealed the egos that so many individuals have—seeking fame and fortune, often jealous of the success of others believing that they should have the exact same opportunities. As I listened, I wanted to be surprised, but it’s a reality. There is a narrative in our society that we are entitled to have everything, do everything and be everything. The challenge with this thinking is that it centers us solely. Our focus is more on how we outperform the next person instead of focusing on the purpose that God has for our lives.
Many are burnt out, frustrated, and tired because we have accepted the idea of living life on a treadmill. We see others that are doing things, and we compare ourselves to what they are doing. Expressions like, ‘I’ll sleep when I die,’ are lies. If you don’t get enough rest, you will die. It’s imperative to understand that work is essential. Yet are you striving based on your needs or seeking God to anoint and appoint your footsteps, work, and relationships?
The more you are centered, the less room there is for God to operate and make things work for you. Life would be so much easier if you yield to God’s will instead of your own. God wants us to work but when work becomes our God, we’ve made it an idol. Why we do what we do must have its purpose in something greater than ourselves. Paul wrote: “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” 1 Corinthians 10:31. As we enter a New Year, examine if your work glorifies God or are you seeking all the glory?
Instead of feeling jealous about the success of others, it’s understanding if their success is rooted in them, which is not sustainable or rooted in God’s purpose and plan for their lives. “For this purpose, also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me,” Colossians 1:29. God blesses us not only during work and the subsequent money or opportunities we receive. Yet, we can be even more blessed when we honor God with what we have and with our time. God wants us to rest in Him. “One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind,” Ecclesiastes 4:6.
Renowned Christian theologian Charles Spurgeon said: “Rest is a weapon given to us by God. The enemy hates it because he wants you to be stressed and occupied. Rest! When we rest, we synchronize with God. When we rest, we walk in God’s nature. When we rest, we will experience God’s movement and His miracles.” Want success? Rest in God. King David is an example of an individual who was very wealthy due to God’s anointing on his life. He recognized that his work and wealth were a direct result of his obedience and willingness to put God first. David realized quickly that all of his stuff was a gift from God. It was never his and God honored it:
“Then, in front of everyone, David sang praises to the Lord: I praise you forever, Lord! You are the God our ancestor Jacob worshiped. Your power is great, and your glory is seen everywhere in heaven and on earth. You are king of the entire world, and you rule with strength and power. You make people rich and powerful and famous. We thank you, our God, and praise you. But why should we be happy that we have given you these gifts? They belong to you, and we have only given back what is already yours. We are only foreigners living here on earth for a while, just as our ancestors were. And we will soon be gone, like a shadow that suddenly disappears,” 1 Chronicles 29:1-20.
Remember the three ‘R’s:
• Recognize who God is first. God must be first in your life.
• Rest in God. Stop striving for the world’s definition of success.
• Realize that everything you have is a gift from God.
Understand, it’s not your stuff anyway.
(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the vice president of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit <drfroswa.com>.)