Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Success and Triumph!

One good thing about being at our school is that we got to start the classes in prayer. The other day in one of my classes, our professor asked us for prayer requests as usual. Somebody in the class requested to pray for our school’s volley ball and soccer team.

The professor invited students to pray for each request. As she was assigning the volunteers, I thought on my mind, if I were to pray for the school’s volley ball and soccer team, what would I pray to God? “Dear Lord, thank you for giving me the chance to see our volley ball team in action, I know that they are such a good team, so Lord, please bring victory to them. O Lord, please be by our side, because we are your children.”

“Wait a minute,” I thought on my mind, “but what if our opponent is also a Christian school, which side would God take?” Gosh, this is exactly like the American Civil War, both the Southerners and Northerners prayed to God before the war, so how did God decide which side to take? By which side prayed the loudest, perhaps?

When it was his turn, I paid extra attention to the guy who volunteered to pray for our sports teams. And he went, “O God…please keep them healthy, and protect them, don’t let them get hurt in the game…”

“What!” I thought, “Not get hurt! What do you mean not get hurt! Sometimes, you have to fight that fiercely to win!”

And the guy went on to pray, “…and God, please use their actions to glorify you, and let the outcome be for your glory…Amen!” He completely did NOT pray for the victory!

But his prayer really got me thinking – How in the world do we define Success? Is winning the game, having a wealthy life, having a successful business, and being popular the definition of this interesting Christian term – Triumph?

If that is what we think and believe in Christianity, then we really need to readjust our mindset. Christianity is NOT by any means self-seeking. Christians are to live to bring glory to God. Just like my classmate’s prayer – “use their actions to glorify you, and let the outcome be for your glory” Winning and losing don’t really matter, and what matters is if we can win people’s heart to Christ, and if we could bring glory to God.

In Philippians 3, Paul says “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compare to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish….”

Before Paul was struck by Christ’s bright light, he was a lawyer, specialized in persecute Christians, we can imagine that he was probably well paid, effective in doing what he did, we can say that he was a “successful” man. But when he became an apostle of Jesus, not only that he lost his wealthy life, but also that he was put into prisons, and eventually, being martyred.

Even Jesus Himself came to this world NOT of wealthy. He travelled everywhere on foot, stayed the nights in strangers’ houses. Can you imagine that the Son of God went from town to town with dust on His feet, and sweat on His face? And before His arrest in Gethsemane, even though He knew what He was going to suffer, what did He pray to God? “Yet NOT what I will, BUT WHAT YOU WILL.”

Please don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with winning or being wealthy, they are God’s blessings. And I believe that we are to do our best in everything we do. But God’s will is what we should focus and emphasize on. Do you love God and trust God enough to let Him in charge of your winning or losing, the income of your business, the achievement of your life?

From now on, when we pray, let us ask “O God, how may I be a better servant of yours? How may I bring glory to you?” I believe that God, your faithful Father would never treat you less, and that He will lead you to the real success and real triumph.

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