The UnSuccess Ceremony--Part 2

10:57 AMHeather

So, last night my mind was swirling with thoughts about unsuccess and our culture's standards and our battle against insecurities.  Truly, I felt a bit wiped out from the whole thing.  Or maybe that was just the after effects of an evening boot camp. Either way, I sunk into a warm bath to leisurely read one of those things called magazines that end up in a neglected pile in my house.

Only I found every advertisement was screaming at me.  Yelling at me about this whole success and unsuccess and unrealistic expectations.  I think the final straw for me was an ad for make-up that told me that I, too, could be "FLAWLESS."

Oh for the love of all things attainable.

Forget a mutiny against success ceremonies.  I'm on an all out war path now.

Because it dawned on me.  Never in in the history of the world have we been more bombarded with messages and images that taunt and tease us into thinking we need to measure up.  We need to be more!  Do more!  Go faster!  Be the BEST you.  Live your best life EVER.

And these not-so-subtle standards of achievement have even infiltrated the church.  NO one is immune to the effects of constantly be told we aren't enough.  We are discontent.  We NEED something more.

News flash, folks.

God does not want us to be the best.  

God does not want us to be flawless.

God does not want us to be happier.

God does not want us to own more, do more, or climb our way to the top.

Not at all.  We have traded the gospel for a slick marketing package that has convinced us of not just our ability but our RIGHT to be new and improved.

And it's all a vicious lie.  

Here's the thing.

God wants us to empty ourselves out and deny ourselves. So He can fill us.

God is so keenly aware of our faults that He made a way to fill in our every gap and imperfection.

God cares way more about our holiness than our happiness.

God wants us to draw closer, sit at his feet, worship and praise, and come to know and love him more.  That's the only MORE He cares about.

God wants us to be the least--not the most.  

He wants us to move to the back of the line--not push our way to the top.

God doesn't care about our fame.  Only His own.

God doesn't care about our bank account or our possessions.

He cares that we use every resource we have for His glory alone.

God doesn't care that we follow every rule, keep up with the Joneses, or achieve the world's greatest successes.

He wants us to grow deeply in relationship with Him.  

He wants us to invest in relationship with others.  Joneses and otherwise.

He wants us to care less and less about this world and more and more about His kingdom.

God wants us to quit being consumers.  And to be servers of those around us. 

God wants us.

Plain and simple.  

The God of all creation wants US.  Just as we are.  Not because He needs us.  Not because we make Him better or new and improved.

But because we are broken, unholy, unsuccessful, doomed people without Him.  And through our faults His glory shines through.  

We are jars of clay.  Porous.  Imperfect.  And through every crack, His magnificence shows.

So how about instead of pretending we are perfect and striving toward more and the best and success we simply bow in awe of the only Great God?  And His deepest desire for communion with us.  A desire so deep that it spurred Him to give all He had to make us all His--just as we are.

Cease striving and know that I am God; 
I will be exalted among the nations, 
I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46:10

That's where we find contentment.  That's where we find fulfillment.  That's our sweet spot.

When we cease striving to be the best, more beautiful, more thin, more perfect, flawless, new and improved, faster, and better.  And we simply see Him for who He is.  The One and Only.  The Almighty.  The One who completes us.  

And we make it our goal in all that we do, every word that we say to EXALT HIM.  Because He will be exalted in all the earth--with or without us.

But, He chose us anyway.  Because He wants us to be part of exalting His glorious name.

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