What’s your definition of success? People have said, “It’s being happy,” “Reaching my goals,” “Seeing people receive salvation.” One friend said, “Success is God’s prosperity in all areas of my life: spiritual, physical, financial, and relational.”
If we define success as achievement, how do we measure it? Perhaps by comparison? For instance, which looks more successful—a church of 30 members or a church of 2,000? A family with three children, an SUV, and a nice home in the suburbs or a single mom pushing her newborn in a donated stroller? When defined as achievement and measured by comparison, success seems straightforward: The more happiness felt, goals reached, souls saved, and prosperity achieved, the greater the success in our lives.
But when 72 excited disciples returned from a mission, Jesus taught them true success: “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” they said joyfully (Luke 10:17). Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning!” (Luke 10:18). “Don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
What a radical redefinition of success. Results will come and go. What matters most is that heaven knows your name.
Fruitful lives matter to Jesus (John 15:1-4). Results matter, but they don’t matter the most. Achievement doesn’t define your success and comparison doesn’t measure its quantity. For Jesus, success is relational—it’s having your name written in heaven’s book in God’s handwriting (Revelation 3:5). And that’s a gift to be received from Him, not an achievement to be made (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Success is found in Christ alone.
Taken from “Our Daily Journey”