A man who was a famous tree climber was guiding someone in climbing a tall tree. He ordered the man to cut the top of the branches, and during this time when the man seemed to be in the greatest danger, the expert said nothing.
Only when the man was coming down and had reached the height of the eaves did the expert call out for him to be careful. “Watch your step coming down”. I asked him why he did that because at that height he could jump the rest of the way is he chose. “That’s the point” said the expert.
“As long as the man was up at a dizzy height and the branches were threatening to break, he was afraid, so I said nothing. Mistakes are always made when people are at the easy places.” These words are in perfect accord with the precepts of the sages. In football too, they say that after you have kicked out of a difficult place and you think the next will be easier, you are sure to miss the ball.
There is a challenge in failure and confinement and there is also a challenge in victory and success.
Jesus, in teaching on the parable of the kingdom, spoke in relation to the three basic challenges that the heart of every person must confront.
1. The Challenge of Ignorance.
2. The Challenge of Offences
3. The Challenge of Bitterness (when things do not work out as planned)
When your hope is deferred and expectations seem cut off by opposition, bitterness tries to take root in the heart (seeking to poison the whole cycle of the events of our lives) through the negative words we are tempted to speak (in murmuring and complaining) during such times.
Hell seeks to ignite our lives through our tongue, poisoning every relationship we have, cutting short our productivity. The challenge of success and growth is the most deceitful of them all.
Gradually the enemy of our souls lays ambush and if we are not informed, we self - destruct. Great military generals have said that the greatest danger occurs at the moment of victory.
The law of God inserted into the earth at creation says that contained in every fruit is the seed for future fruit. When we obtain some measure of success, contained within it is the seed for greater achievements the greatest challenge though is that the body of the seed always differs from the nature of the seed in it.
Discernment and the need for obedience to the still small voice within our souls is more important now than ever before. Quietness of the soul must replace emotional outbursts. The pattern and the rhythm of events that produced this level of success would differ from that which is to come.
When you attain some measure of success, step back and understand that in the rhythm of life the same set of circumstances would never produce a repeat of the same set of actions.
History and the Scriptures are littered with the ruins of victorious empires and the corpses of leaders who did not learn how to handle the challenges of victory.
Success naturally makes us less adaptable to circumstances it goes to our head and makes us emotional. Feeling invulnerable, you make aggressive moves that ultimately undo the victory you have gained.
For example you start talking to people in ways you shouldn’t, developing oppressive tendencies, paying less attention to detail etc. ‘Success is a lousy teacher it makes smart people think they can’t lose (Bill Gates).
Your mind is tricked into believing that it’s your wisdom and character that are responsible for your success. The first thing you must do is to give all the glory to God. It rightfully belongs there.
If this is not done, that blessing (be it a promotion on the job, an expansion in your business, favour in the right quarters, a marriage, etc) might turn into a source of pain.
“If you would not hear and if you do not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, saith the Lord, I would even send a curse upon you and I would curse your blessing. (Mal 2:12)
Rule 1: Give glory to God before He causes darkness and your feet stumble on the dark mountains.
Rule 2: Be courteous. Be very respectful of elders and those in positions of authority.
Rule 3: Help the poor and the less privileged.
From the Desk of Pastor Poju