If you missed the first and second parts of How to move forward, then click here to read them. God’s idea of success is much better than any picture of success we could ever imagine. God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Your idea of success for your life will never compare to what God desires for you. I would define God’s kind of success as walking in relationship with Him and doing what He’s called you to do the way He’s called you to do it – and all of this is only ever the result of walking in relationship with Him. You’ll only ever be as successful as your relationship with God is.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead.”
Philippians 3:13 NET
4. Reaching out for the things that are ahead.
You can’t reach out for what lies in front of you if you’re holding onto what lies behind you. You will never be successful unless you let go of what lies behind, but you also need to reach out to what lies ahead. This reveals that you cannot be passive if you want to move forward in the purposes of God. While we do not, and cannot, earn the favour and blessing of God through our performance, we need to be active in receiving what God has freely given to us in Christ. Faith (belief) without corresponding actions of faith is dead (James 2:17). For example, if you believe that you’re in danger, you’ll do something to get out of the situation or protect yourself in the situation. You act on what you truly believe.
If you want to reach out for the things that are ahead, you need to have a vision of what lies ahead. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wander aimlessly, wasting your time, resources and energy on things that don’t really matter. Most people have some kind of vision (or picture) of what they want to accomplish or of where they want to go, but it’s not enough to have a vision - you need to have God’s vision. Too many people invest all their energy into chasing after the wrong vision. As someone once said: You don’t want to climb the ladder of success, get to the top and realize that you were leaning against the wrong wall. Stephen R. Covey said, “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” God created you on purpose and for a purpose. His purpose for your life will bring you true satisfaction and fulfilment. It will give meaning to your life and will cause your life to greatly, greatly impact the lives of others. True success is walking in God’s vision for your life, with Him.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”
Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
Running the race that is set before you starts with knowing where you’re running (having God’s vision for your life) and then moving in that direction. If you want to finish your course with joy, then you need to have the right focus: Jesus. As believers, we live by faith and so we’re only ever as successful as our trust in God. You are not the one that manufactures faith in your heart: Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. As we look to Him and what He has done for us, as we focus on His love and grace for us, our faith grows in us. The only way to run your race with endurance and finish strong is through faith. It takes faith to fulfil the vision that God has given you. Trust Him!