Church Message: What’s Success Look Like?

By Pastor Ron Aulbach, BridgeWay Community Church

If you could bottle it, people would buy it. There is something enticing and at the same time elusive about success. While there seems to be an unending pursuit of success, rarely do I ever hear someone define what success actually is. Is it money? Finally getting to the top? Is it fame and all recognition that comes with it? Is success measured by the type of car you drive? I decided to google it and found over 3.27 billion answers devoted to uncovering the secret of success. Everything from brilliant Ted Talks to the 20 indisputable laws of success. I read articles on how Oprah gained her success and how Lebron James is a success despite not making the playoffs this year. I even read about products that got their start on the popular CNBC show Shark Tank. For as many success stories, there were others that had it and lost it. For every Warren Buffet investment success, there was a Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. For every world class athlete that did the hard work, there was another caught In a scandal of performance enhancing drugs. It seems that athletes, celebrities and experts have a lot to say about what success is, there is little in proven ways to not end up losing it.

Rather than define success by what we do, what if we began to see it as a result of what we put our trust in? The writer in the book of Hebrews rattles off for us a list of 19 examples of “success” stories, people like Able, Enoch, Abraham, Noah, and Moses. But he also tells us what made them successful, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). Success is faithfulness. You could have all the money, all the fame and still end up a complete failure in life. You could own a home on every continent, have influence with movers and shakers, and be recognized everywhere you go. But, without faith, your life is lacking the one thing that God is looking for. Faith. Another way to thinking of it is a formula: Everything – Faith = Nothing. You can have everything but if you don’t have faith, your life will amount to nothing.

The good news is that faith is not for the social elite or the gifted and talented. Faith, the kind of faith that moves mountains, walks on water and drop kicks fear, is available to everyone. So have faith, and have the assurance that in God’s eyes you are a success.