Daily Spirit & Word 560: Awards to Avoid in Achievement.
“Jesus is the Master of my fate, Jesus is the Captain of my soul”
Good morning my friends, we live in an culture that is driven by success and achievement.
Your youngsters are monitored for and the school is graded by their ACHIEVEMENTS.
People are attracted to schools that consistently ‘perform’ the best, parents look at the records of a school’s achievements before even considering walking through the doors to view the school.
Whilst we all applaud an individual’s successes and achievements; and quite rightly too, because a lot of effort, toil, sweat, dedication and study is exerted to gain those: merits, awards and diplomas. However, there are certain pitfalls, traps and dangers that we need to be aware of in a culture steeped in mindset of success and achievement.
For if we only live for the awards and applauds of men and women in our life, then we’ll be living far below God’s Kingdom Standards of success and achievement.
Just as a proud parents cheers their child on in the School or College Sport’s Day, so we, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, have a Heavenly Father, who’s watching, cheering, waving, longing and waiting for each and every one of us to win our race that’s been marked our for us.
1) Avoid being totally Self-Sufficient:
In the films; The Dead Poet’s Society and ‘Invictus’.
There is a repeated motto: “I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL”
INVICTUS (Unconquerable). (See notes below).
By William Ernest Henley (I885).
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul
Nelson Mandela meditated regularly upon this poem during his incarceration in South Africa and read it to fellow prisoners. Barak Obama read the last two stansas at Nelson Mandela memorial service.
Whilst we all long to see a degree of the ability of individuals to be able to LEARN for themselves, and to INVESTIGATE and to DISCOVER. Because we know that the BIGGEST milestones in life are the ones we’ve made our own BREAKTHROUGHS in learning and discovery.
However, in becoming totally SELF-SUFFICIENT (to be the CAPTAIN of your own soul) there is also a danger: Because there comes a point when an individual becomes reluctant to seek help or ask for advice or able to receive instruction.
Just like solid polished granite is impervious to water, so is the individual to the LORD’S instruction, who’s become totally SELF-Sufficient.
Why should we avoid being totally self-sufficient?
Jeremiah 17:5-6 5 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives.
Most Important: One thing that people long for more than anything else in our Success and Achievement driven culture is: POPULARITY. How do we know we’re ‘popular’? Because we have lots of ‘friends’. Friends are marked by ‘LIKES’ or ‘SNAPS’ or ‘STARS’ or “G+s” in SOCIAL MEDIA or HITS on Websites.
However, we must note, that when we’re only driven by being popular in the eyes of the world, we’re in danger of allowing our HEARTS to TURN AWAY FROM THE LORD.
When we’re TRUSTING IN: MAN (FLESHLY STRENGTH) for our STRENGTH (i.e. we measure our strength by fleshly prowess, fleshly skill, fleshly ability, fleshly might) then we’re NOT trusting in or relying upon the LORD.
It’s OK to have a degree of Self-Sufficiency: It’s healthy, but to be TOTALLY Self-Sufficient can lead our hearts away from the LORD.
Jesus is calling you and me today: Instead of being totally self-sufficient to be DEPENDENT: To trust in and rely upon the LORD. Not the strength of the flesh.
READ THIS OUT ALOUD (Remember ‘faith’ comes by hearing God’s Word).
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the LORD’S discipline and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
It’s HEAVENLY WISDOM followers of Jesus need to strive for, not fleshly success and achievement.
How we look in God’s EYES is much more important than the eyes of others.
Question: Who is the CAPTAIN of your soul? Is it you, yourself (your flesh, will, strength and achievements) or is it Jesus the Lord who created the Universe, who knows time’s beginning and end?
Let Jesus be your Captain today.
2) Avoid Being Outstanding: (Measuring Yourself Against Others).
- To WOWzer them with your brilliance!
To DAZZLE them with your results!
- To BUCKLE them with your beating all records!
- To BLIND them with your DAZZLING personality!
Listen to what Jesus is calling His followers to be like:
Jesus however, calls you to be “nothing:”
Jeremiah 45:5 “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not…”
Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
This is Jesus calling you to be like HIMSELF: Humble, Gentle, Kind, Generous, Gracious and Loving.
He’s doesn’t care about nor is He impressed by your; Dazzling results, beating records, brilliant brain.
He’s going to give you an Eternal WOWzer if you are; humble and kind, Loving and Patient, warm and welcoming, faithful and true.
Avoid measuring yourself or comparing yourself to others, what’s more important is how do I compare to Jesus?
Avoid Being Outstanding (at the expense of others).
3) Avoid The Pull Of POWER:
We all want our children, grandchildren, friends and family to be a force for good in the world, to be men and women of renown, to be the People the world will look up to one day.
However; we should be very wary of POWER for power’s sake.
There is a danger in:
- Desiring to be Powerful
- Desiring to WIN at all costs
- Desiring to Manipulate the Circumstances.
- Desiring to CONTROL the Outcomes.
- Desiring To Let Everyone KNOW who’s the BOSS.
Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
My friends, Jesus is calling you to a wonderful life of abundance.
However, in order to do that and to be His SUCCESSFUL, BRILLIANT AND DAZZLING follower.
He wants to set you free from the dangers of fleshly success and achievement.
LIKE ANY GOOD PARENT;
- He wants you to be more popular than you do.
- He wants you to be more successful than you do.
- He wants you to be more powerful than you can imagine.
However, He knows the HEAVENLY PATHWAY is;
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Jesus is Calling YOU:
- to shoot your PRIDE: Stop being self-sufficient: Depend upon Him.
- to kill your ATTITUDE: Stop feeling the need to be OUTSTANDING (from other) but to Shine for His Glory.
- to die to SELF: Power and Control (Horrible). Powerful and Controlling (Nasty, Evil, Manipulative). Instead; BE FILLED WITH Holy Spirit Power, THIS WILL lead you to desire building up OTHERS UP in Christ’s body.
Can you hear your Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit? God (in Trinity) is cheering for you to win the race that’s been marked out for you.
WHEN YOU ARE READY TO FOLLOW JESUS’ PATHWAYS; Then you can REALLY BEGIN TO LIVE and LEAVE A LEGACY THAT WILL LAST FOREVER.
I’m going to ask followers of Jesus to declare;
“Jesus is the Master of my fate
Jesus is the Captain of my soul”
God bless you, the Lord fill you with His Spirit. NOW: go and get RESULTS for His GLORY THAT WILL STAND THE TEST OF TIME AND ETERNITY.
In the Poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. Written in 1885, You’ll note that it is a rejection of God.
He recognises that the world is DARK (Needs illumination).
The Darkness is world-wide (from Pole to Pole).
Rejects the ONE God. (whatever gods).
Recognises he’s created with a soul.
He accepts circumstance (chance, destiny).
Doesn’t recognise / rejecting that God is in control.
He thinks this life is all there is,
just darkness (shade) on the other side of life.
Yet, that feeling finds him “unafraid”.
“It matter not how straight the gate”
He knows about the narrow path and the narrow gate,
but he doesn’t care (It matters not).
He knows that God’s Keeping a Record of His life.
“How charged with punishments the scroll”
And that God promises His wrath, anger and punishments
for breaking His commandments.
He’s rejecting the LORD as his final destiny
“I am the master of my fate”
He’s rejecting the LORDSHIP of Christ.
“I am the Captain of my soul”.