During my school years, one of the mottos stated in one of the elementary grades I entered, was, “Success in life can only come by a firm resolution to work!” A great motivation and inspiration for the students to have success, not for that year only, but throughout life in general. Most experienced good success.
There’s another kind of success I found later, which vastly outweighs the work ethics of my earlier years. It’s one that proves to be the real success, which carries with it, a far more weight of eternal glory. This kind of success is not based on a resolve to hard work only, but one that is based on God’s Word being described this way. “My old identity has been crucified with Messiah and no longer lives. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One, lives His life through me – we live in union as one. My new life is now powered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that He gave Himself for me” Gal. 2:20.
This truth is God’s way of success, not based on fallen humanity, but on the glorious life and integrity of His Son, Jesus, who succeeded in the unveiling of the Heart of God to a lost and dying world. This success is the destiny of those who chose to receive salvation — God’s call to all. “God called me by His grace, and in love, He chose me from birth to be His. God’s grace unveiled his Son in me, so I would proclaim him to the non- Jewish people of the world” Gal. 1:15.
The proclamation of Christ to the world is not the end in “the call,” but the means to the end. What then is the end to the call? The end to the call is simply made clear, “God’s grace is to unveil (reveal) His Son in me —which is, “I no longer live,” to and for myself, but my life is lived in union with “Christ who lives in me –for the one purpose of unveiling Him to the world” — in and through my surrendered and submission to Him — Gal. 2:20. The whole premise of our public ministry– preaching, and teaching of the good news is to be the out-flow centered on the unveiling of Christ’s life. If this happens, then, and only then, we are successful, and God’s ultimate goal was achieved.
We are called to the unveiling of Christ, no matter what we do, or where we are in our walk. In every fully submitted and surrendered life where Christ is made Lord, this same witness of “Christ in me, is the hope of the riches of Christ’s glory” is the emphasis—Col. 1:27. Thisis the goal and end in God’s purpose.
This is truly what the Lord Jesus meant when He said to His disciples,“You will be My witnesses to Jerusalem, throughout Judea – and distant provinces – even to remotest places on earth” Acts 1;8. The Word in the heart of God’s people becomes a living witness. The Word we read, study, memorize, meditate on the meaning conveyed, or speak from verses, chapters and books of the Bible is meant to be experiential. That is, the written Word is not merely mental ascent, but it must be a living – out- in life-experience. To be a witness in the places we live, work and socialize, there’s a living expression of the Word of God being seen in our daily living. Anything short of this goal we have failed to fulfill God’s goal for us.
Paul did not “confer with flesh and blood”upon his call by the Lord–Gal 1:16-17. Instead, he went to the Source – the Holy Spirit where he was taught, inspired, empowered and led by God Himself. What he did and where he went was all to the glory of the One who called and lived within. In His yielded and surrendered life, he unveiled the Son of God within without man’s works ethics. My teacher was correct in our natural success, but fell short of our eternal one.
Gamaliel, under whom Paul studied and brought up, was not considered in Paul’s eternal success. All that was gained then, Paul now “considered rubbish,” in comparison to that gained by knowing Christ, and to win the unveiling of Christ. He said, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” – Phil. 1:21. When people saw Paul they saw Jesus. He was successful in his call. Had he fulfilled the call to unveil himself instead, he would be an utter failure.
Our lives are a success story when we fully surrender ourselves to the Messiah, and allow Him free access to live in us. Sooner than later, we too will be successful, having eternal significance.