Have you ever said “I’m trying to do better.” If you have, then you might be like me and probably have a running list of things you’re trying to “do better”. Items like diet and exercise, controlling my anger, managing my time and more time reading my Bible are all things I’ve said “I’m going to do better”. I’ve lost track of the number of areas of my life in which “I’m going to do better.”
Then one day it hit me. If my better or even my best is not enough to get me into heaven, then why am I just doing my best in the everyday areas of my life. Why do I think doing my best will amount to any success?
I recently finished a book by Angie Smith called What Women Fear and in there she addresses this whole issue of success. Check out this quote from Angie.
“I know plenty of people who went headfirst into the job they were sure God had chosen for them, only to discover that they were miserable. The amazing thing is that the Lord used all of the circumstances to bring them to a deeper place of trust with Him and they chose to walk in that fullness. So maybe the success wasn’t in the job working out the way they anticipated, but rather in actions that continue to obey despite the fear.”
Whoa! So if I think I’ve succeeded, God probably had a different perspective on my situation. I’ve had jobs, friendships, projects and even days with my children which end in what I consider failure, even despite my best efforts. But like Angie said, what if the success was in my obedience to God rather than what I thought the outcome was.
So what does God have to say about His ways versus our ways? Isaiah 55:8-9 tell us this:
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
And I don’t know about you, but I want God’s ways to be greater and higher than my ways, because if they aren’t, we’re all in big trouble!
So now what? What do we do now that we’ve realized our ways just aren’t going to make the cut. Nothing we do on our own is ever going to be the best.
But what if we call on God. What if we stop trying to do better and just abide with Jesus. He is more than success or good intentions could ever be. He is everything we are not and everything we want to be. What if Him, through us, is exactly what God wants. Because in the end, success to God is not how much money we make, how we look or even how obedient our kids are. Success for you and me in God’s eyes is abiding with Jesus and living life through His ways, His truth and His life.
Is there an area(s) of your life where you’ve been “doing your best” which may need to be turned over to God’s ways?