Second Principle of Success

The apostle Paul climbed the corporate ladder of Judaism. “If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more; circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness, which is in the Law, found blameless. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order to gain Christ (Phil. 3:4-8).

It took three years in the desert for the apostle Paul to move his ladder over to the right wall. He couldn’t stay on the top rung and just push the ladder over to the wall of grace. He had to start on the bottom rung as we all do. With a new focus he set out in the right direction and with a determination to succeed he proceeded to climb: “Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:12-14).

The apostle was again motivated to succeed, but with a new goal. He pressed on to lay hold of whatever Christ wanted for him. Christ had chosen Paul for a purpose, as God has chosen all of us. To be successful we have to become the person God created us to be, which is the second principle of success. It is also God’s will for our lives. That fact that nobody and nothing can keep us from being the person God created us to be is the good news. The only one who can keep us from succeeding is ourselves. We may not have enough time to accomplish what we want in life, but we have precisely enough time to do God’s will. We may not reach the position we hoped for, but what position is higher than being seated with Christ in the heavenlies? We can try to make a name for ourselves in this fallen world, but what name could we make for ourselves that is better than being called children of God?

Dr. Neil

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