End Times Special Edition
Two years ago, I watched a great movie titled “the good enemy”. It tells about several stories of Christians who share a common problem: They are deceived by the devil to be busy doing good deeds while neglecting fellowship with God. A particular story is that of Imuentiyan, a college girl who, due to constant parental pressure, decides to become success-driven at the expense of her communion with God. Years later, she graduates with honors and secures a promising career while pursuing her Masters’ degree part-time. Though she became successful, made her family proud, and earned respect from society, her life was empty on the inside. When she witnessed a Christian colleague exercising her gift of healing to heal a sick woman at work, Imuentiyan realized that her emptiness was due to neglecting God and the gifts of healing and intercession she once had in college.
This is a poignant message for our generation, for those of us chasing success to get some achievements. Many students are so focused in being on top of everyone whether in school, sports, clubs, church, or job. They want the recognition, approval, accolades, or gratification. Nothing wrong with wanting to achieve something in life, however, when this is done at the expense of our relationship with our Heavenly Father then something is wrong. Chasing success leads to destruction as it becomes our idol and passion instead of God. And one may say “what if I chase God and success?”, the Bible clearly states that we can’t serve or chase two things at once, just like we can’t chase a dog and rabbit at the same time, for instance. “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money” Luke 16:13.
Chasing success is a “good enemy” because it is allows us to fulfill our goals and earn society’s respect while concurrently cooling down our love and zeal for God and blinding us to our destiny. “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Mark 8:36-37. What’s more important to us: Is it chasing our dreams or following God’s will for us? The above verse shows us that even if we were to gain the whole world (e.g. riches, popularity, possession), it wouldn’t mean much compared to losing our soul. When we chase success, our soul becomes corrupted by the world. Just think about this, if success was worth pursuing then why do we see some celebrities commit suicide, on anti-depressant pills, or in rehab? I know the world doesn’t paint it that way, it shows us that success is everything but are we to conform to the patterns of this world?
Our Father wants to prosper us in His own way, He said the words we are all so familiar with in Jeremiah 29:11 “for I know the plans I have for you…They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” When we place God first and submit to Him, He will lead us to glory in His own manner and time while filling us with power (the Holy Spirit) as well as joy, peace, love, and authority over demons which success can’t buy. Now the path of God is challenging and humbling at times compared to the path of success, yet “the blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it” Proverbs 10:22. Along the way, the Father shows us to live purely, prevents us from danger, and makes us wise. This is far more important than chasing success which can only change us outwardly and not inwardly.
Chasing success is indeed a good enemy; the example of Imuentiyan and celebrities prove that when we neglect God, it doesn’t go well with us. So, let’s do our best (without measuring up to others) in school, church, job, or sports and leave the rest to our Father God. When we put our Father first, He will prosper our ways whether spiritually, academically, employment-wise, or others.
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?