Friday, May 29, 2009


Western society worships success, but doesn’t really know what that is. Even if we achieved it, I believe we would not clearly recognize or be wholly satisfied with what we had attained. Somehow, I think, even for Christians, the ‘gospel’ has become so confusingly interwoven with an elusive ‘American Dream’ that many are distracted, striving for illusory goals, rather than trusting the simple, sure mercies of Jesus.
Our humanistic, materialistic, intellectually top-heavy, individual-centred, entertain-me focus has essentially altered our life perspective to the point where we mistakenly equate comfort and pleasure with fulfillment and joy. Consequently, our unsatisfied ‘self’ is never able to truly enjoy the journey. Many achieved the white picket fence and 2-car garage but found that wasn’t enough. So we expanded the dream to 3 cars with a ride-on mower, luxury homes and it’s still not enough! Success is neither winning the lottery nor thinking up the ultimate special effects action movie and calling it life.
Even much of the Christian church seems to have bought into the world’s message with bigger programs, buildings and egos. ‘7-Step How-to Self-help’ books dominate the best-seller lists but Christ said, “Deny your self.” In other words, “Kill it, don’t fix it!” Somehow, it seems we have become more preoccupied with the ways of a world we profess to reach than the Saviour we profess to proclaim. It’s like adoring the ornaments while ignoring the Tree.
The superficial supplants the essential.
The Organization threatens to suffocate the Organism.
If we are honest, we can even catch ourselves singing, “It’s all about me!” rather than truly, “It’s all about You …Jesus!”

The true gospel never validates the world’s status quo. Jesus Christ is and always will be the most radical revolutionary this world has ever known! He alone can change human hearts!

Regardless of how many subtle forms in which sin parades itself, His simple good news will always expose, confound and unmask their essential egoism. The gospel reveals the hypocrisies of political (communism or capitalism) and religious (legalism or license) forms which deny the power of the Cross.
It is not about us. It’s about God… and faith and love towards our neighbour, that is, the guy next to us. “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” (Matt 25:40)
Success really has nothing to do with our twisted egotistical sense of winning, accumulating the most toys, or acquiring the most influence.
Success has everything to do with how we truly treat one another and what we live, give and pass on to others.
Trees are known by their fruit and the seed they pass on to the next season’s generation. Christians are also known by the fruit we produce: good trees = good fruit = good seed = more good trees.
We need to have a vision for harvest beyond ourselves. Unfortunately, many Christians are buying into quick-fix doctrines and escapist end-times fantasies which lead them to selfishly conclude we are earth’s ‘last generation’. These deceptions abrogate our effectiveness to witness the true gospel of Christ to a perishing world and relay this inheritance to the next generations.

Jesus succeeded. He is the true King. He died on the Cross for our sin, rose from the dead for our salvation, destroyed the works of the devil (Heb 2:14), and is now reigning from the throne of the universe. His Kingdom is successfully established and we are called to reign with Him, fill the earth with His glory and successively pass on this inheritance from generation to generation. We must not drop the baton.
We succeed when we effectively relay Christ’s life to those who follow. Jesus is calling us to stand in the gap and pass it on. Successful evangelists do not merely evangelize; they raise, equip and release other evangelists into their calling. Likewise with others of the 5-fold ministry: we only succeed when we release others to proceed in their destiny.
There is no success without a successor.

1 comment:

  1. Watchman Nee. The Spiritual Man. Volume One. "We are never asked in the Bible to be crucified for sin, that is true. It does exhort us, however, to take up the cross for denying self. The Lord Jesus instructs us many times to deny ourselves and take up the cross and follow Him. The explanation for this is that the Lord Jesus deals with our sins and with ourselves very differently. To wholly conquer sin the believer needs but a moment; to deny self he needs an entire lifetime. Only on the cross did Jesus bear our sins; yet throughout His life the Lord denied Himself. The same must be true of us".
    I would love to have you and Watchman in a room in conversation and be an eavesdropper!