And when an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, the apostles learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country; and there they continued proclaiming the good news. Acts 14:5–7
It is difficult to know if you are successful without some quantifiable means of measurement. How many units were sold? How many customers were gained? By how much has the profit margin increased? If Paul and Barnabas had tried to measure success by counting, they would have perceived themselves to be failures, for they were kicked out of nearly every community in which they preached. And yet, in retrospect, we know Paul to be the most important and influential evangelist in church history.
God uses different metrics when gauging success. Did you do what I asked? Did you go where I told you to go? Did you say what I laid on your heart to say? Paul didn’t count converts, he merely spoke the words God asked him to share with others . . . the rest is history!
Are you successful?
Lord, I am a counter. I judge success and failure by what I can see and by what I can measure. I do not have the eternal view You have. I do not understand that seeds planted today may reap a remarkable harvest in a future I will not be around to take credit for. How limited my understanding, how shallow my insight, how small my vision! Success is obedience to You . . . All else is worthless. Allow me the courage to live in such obedience. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.