Shared Success

Written by Craig Denison

The word “success” has held a negative connotation in my life for a long time. Success feels like such a selfish venture-- so worldly. But recently I’ve sensed God wanting to bring renewal and clarification to the concept of success in my own heart-- that success would be a concept of the kingdom rather than a pursuit of the prideful. 

A few years ago the Lord began talking to me about the power of shared desires with him. Philippians 2:13 says, “It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I believe that the way God most desires to lead his people is by filling them with desires and then satisfying those desires. 

As the result of total communion with the Father Jesus lived, breathed, spoke and worked entirely in line with God’s will. And by the Holy Spirit, you and I can commune with the heart of God. You and I can know God’s will. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 says: 

“But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” 

The Holy Spirit within us desires to lead us moment by moment to a better revelation of God’s heart. He searches the heart of the Father for what he would have his children do, and then reveals to us those desires. That’s how he longs to lead us. That’s how we share desires with our heavenly Father.

I used to be terrified at the concept of following the desires of my heart. How can I know whether what I want is what God wants for me? How can I trust this heart that I know to be so often selfish and prideful? 

The truth is that when I sit down and trace back the desires I am feeling, the Holy Spirit always reveals the source. Do I want to do a good job here because of an insecurity I feel, or because doing a good job furthers the kingdom of God? Am I writing this blog to gain your affirmation of me as a writer, or to allow God to communicate his heart for you through me? Those are questions I can easily answer. And the truth is if I’m never willing to step out and advance the kingdom because of fear of my own pride or risk of wrong desires, then I will never fulfill God’s calling on my life. And so far, it seems that my pride and wrong desires are best worked out in the practice of faith, not in shrinking back in response to my own sin. 

May a chief goal of our life be to so share God’s heart that our success would be his success. May the satisfying of our desires also be the satisfying of his. And may the power of communion with the Holy Spirit drive us to a powerful advancement of God’s kingdom for his glory and our good. There is no joy like the joy of co-laboring with a God of love who by his grace uses us in ways far greater than we could ask or imagine.