Devotional

REAL Success: As Told By John The Baptist

What is REAL success? Social media has escalated the unspoken battle to the top & struggle of comparison – becoming dangerous to our self esteem and moral compass. We find ourselves striving to build a life & career that LOOKS successful, but there is a hidden pitfall that can bring us down quicker than we built ourselves up.

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The pitfall is forgetting God’s life-breathed purpose. The pitfall is taking your eyes off of Him. The pitfall is wanting more of you and less of Him.

The world will always present opportunities for there to be MORE of us. Yes, this works well, feels good and helps build a life for a flourishing family.

The life and story of John the Baptist has a theme – “He must become greater; I must become less.” Success in life may seem to make us greater – yet is the opposite of what made John the Baptist so great. Jesus said,

“I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John…” ~Luke 7:28.

Why was he so great? John’s life centered on serving the Kingdom of God and not himself or his culture. John spent his life preparing the way for Christ and that defined his success & his joy. What kind of success are you preparing for?

In hindsight, somewhere along the way, success in life brings more opportunity for the attention to be on YOU – that is a slippery slope. Yes, it will make YOU greater – but logically, if YOU become greater, HE will become less.

When preparing for your future, it is imperative to plan and prepare to BE LESS with each passing day. Prepare for a future not limited to this world.

The earthly path of upward mobility might lead to a bigger house and a second home, but focus on preparing for eternity, not the next 30-or so years.

“Jesus said to them…’And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.’” ~Matthew 19:29.

Less today can mean more tomorrow if you are following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Christ promised the return would be a hundred times whatever you give up here, for Him.

The ways of this world are not the ways of God. With Him there is no fear or anxiety. Looking ahead and seeing your needs and wants in the future you are planning, remember the words in red.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33.

The One who gives and the One who rewards doesn’t advise the traditional worldly preparation for success. As a believer, prepare to seek Him more every day, give HIM more control and become less in the process. If you do otherwise, YOU might become greater but He will become less. Don’t let that be the future you’re planning for. It ends in emptiness.

Prepare for the right kind of success.


Inspired by “Prepare for Success,” written by a dear friend of my father, Parks Brown. More of his wisdom on the topic here!

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