People, by-in-large, are good at setting and achieving goals. Day-in-day-out billions of people arrive to work on-time, remember to do more things than they forget, have a roof to sleep under and manage to feed and clothe themselves. People, by-in-large, are used to setting goals, making plans and seeing them through to some measure of success. This can be a dangerous thing. (Proverbs 4:12, Proverbs 16:25)
In the 139 Psalm, King David proclaims God’s omniscience (v1-6), omnipresence (v7-12), and omnipotence (v13-18), as well as David’s own obeisance (v19-24). King David has reached a point where his perspective of himself and his abilities compared to God’s are right. It is beautiful to witness.
Throughout scripture, God does amazing things for people as soon as they realize what David realized. Have you ever found your heart pouring out to God saying some version of, “I’m done. I don’t want to do it my way ever again. It always ends up hurting. God: I want what you want. Lead me. Thy will be done.”?
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
– Psalm 139:23-24
Painful outcomes or trials can leave us feeling this way. The danger is when we have “success” in our plans. Success is not a history of achieving personal goals. Success and achieving personal goals are not by default the same thing.
We have wisdom when we see things as God sees things. In my estimation, the key question to reflect on and be sure our heart has the true answer to is this:
What is God’s definition of success?
This holiday season I encourage everyone confronted with the question “Who is successful?” whether spoken, worn, driven, sat in, or otherwise to consider God’s definition. To be prepared the truth. How can we press into the truth and be a blessing to others?