Growing up, I was very emotionally, verbally, and sexually abused. Success for me meant proving myself at every turn, and doing all I could to battle past demons with how much I could accomplish. Success was my weapon of choice, but left me in a constant state of begging for worthiness. For everything spoken against me, I was obsessed with being the opposite and proving others wrong. If you said I couldn't do it, I would do what was necessary to prove I could. Some might ask, "What's so bad about that?" On the surface I could masquerade as being driven, but my motivation was unhealthy. I wasn't channeling negative energy into my work ethic, I was desperate for acceptance and value. When you operate out of that kind of motivation, you set your life up to be a never ending cycle of approval addiction. At some point, there will almost always be a crash and burn.
Most of us have a picture of success that is motivated by some opposite extreme somewhere, or is meant to counter whatever it is we are afraid of. Truth be told, we care more about what others think more than we let on. We care about our reputation, our name, and most things concerning us. We ultimately want to be admirable. There's nothing wrong with that. What we cannot do is allow our pursuit of "excellence" to override our process. What if our drive and picture of success does not match God's? What if we are "success-ing" our way right out of His will? Are we sure our agenda lines up with His?
When I first started out, I wanted to proceed with excellence as He downloaded so much about us being a Word out of His mouth and an assignment birthed to take satan down. I watched other women in ministry who I perceived were successful, and when a path looked like it was pretty successful, my aim was to in some ways mimic that same energy. Hear me, it's great to have role models, especially God-given, but what they are meant to model is the evidence that obedience produces. They are not necessarily the standard.
How many times have we related success with who is on TV, who is highly sought after, who is on the most flyers, and decided we would chart a course in a similar if not the same direction to accomplish the same thing. We network, we seek out opportunity, we trade ministry cards, we launch the social media accounts. What good does any of it do, if when we arrive we arrive unclean, broken, bartered for, and controlled in order to maintain status? Don't get me wrong, we will never be perfect. We will always be people in process until our last breath. But what I had to come to realize as I shared in the "This is War" blog, is that every assignment is a deployment with its own battle strategy that we must seek from God alone. A 10k seed sown for mentoring is not always the magic method for kingdom production.
We may think that tv is a magnificent experience, and it is, but if at lights, camera, action, you have no real revelation or are not having the conversation God is interested in having, it's not success, it's a carnal moment He has to mercifully work around, and you'll need many more moments to stay relevant, only to find yourself replaced and overshadowed by those who have come by way of the valley. Look around you, the elite are crumbling and the processed are rising. God's first and foremost concern is HIS purpose, not our plan.
Why is this such a big deal? Knowing your identity and your lane is world changing. Being at the right place at the right time with the right revelation is the difference between winning the battle or letting the enemy escape in tact. Our primary concern must be to flood the earth with the light of God, and encouraging others to do so from their lane.
God said to me, there is a lot of bartering, ministry trading as if we are CEOs instead of Kingdom Ambassadors, spotlight seduction, greed for seed, and a complete avoidance of process. Scandals are increased because we have traded truth for motivational speaking that will keep us in the mainstream media. We have forsaken the trenches for the penthouse and popularity. There is nothing wrong with popularity when God is made big above our name. We share in the glory but should never overshadow it. The lusts of the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life has caused many men and women to lose their way. He asked me, "In a holy war, do you honestly believe that the only conversation I am having is some magic number to sow in order see? Yes I encourage the seed, but it has been greatly abused. I need people to seek their way into destiny not pay to play."
So what is success? How does God define it? Success is finding our way into Matthew 6:33 - seeking first the kingdom (relentlessly pursuing His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, which includes an individual plan for our entire lives) ABOVE ALL ELSE. Getting the necessary transformation and destiny information, remaining daily in His word and in worship, receiving His guidance, carrying out His orders, and coming back to start all over again every time is goals. His desire is for us to be full of Him, and to demonstrate Him in the earth. There are no short cuts. His way is soft and solid, not fast and fragile. There is a reason He takes His sweet time developing us behind the mountain and elevating us in "due time." Success is the demonstration that if we truly walk with Him we will thrive in Him and eventually reign with Him. Success is Him spilling over so much through us that the world that does not know Him desires to. Success is pointing to what we have done by HIS direction that has expanded Kingdom citizenship.
When I picture my own success now, understanding the evil in this world I am called to counter, "successes" can be as simple as a private conversation, a prayer call, or a major conference. It could be the release of that book if it never makes the best seller's list, or the time to simply stop and pray for someone He says touch. Success is waking up everyday, checking in with Him for your steps to be ordered. Success is knowing unequivocally you are walking in His will untainted and pure. Success is a lifestyle of worship that makes you available to Him for whatever the day's journey may be. Is it wealthy? Yes. He promises that. We want it in the right context. Is it influential? Of course it is. At every level it is. Is it spotlighted? Yes. He desires to be made known in the earth.
There is such an absence of the fear of God (reverence), which is the beginning of wisdom. When we trade in that reverential posture for relationships that we assume will benefit us, we dim our light. All of us have a "there" to get to, but we must arrive the right way. We assume so much is the favor of God when it is really the trap of the enemy.
Authenticity requires we eat, sleep, and breathe Him and count it not robbery. We sign up for the course correction and the character adjustments, the breaking before the building, and the process before the promise. Our heart's cry is, "More of you LORD," and "How can I use my "all these things will be added" to impact and influence kingdom?" Our desire is not to wear a mask, but to live in liberty and the light courageously.
Don't succumb to the patterns and customs of this world that define success by standards God is not always in. Let your true light shine among men that through you they might see His good works. "These signs" should follow all of us who believe. Miracles and wonders are not just for a few special people. Imagine how the world would be impacted if every believer went hard core on their knees so God could throw them hard core into destiny. What if we were in fact the "world" full of worshipers that the rest of the world needs to see. There's such a lack of demonstration of Him in the earth. We cannot control what others do, but we can control what we do and make ourselves available to Him to be an authentic influencer and not just more of the same.
I'll end with this. As a prophet I listened to many others to try to discover what to say and how to say it. I was eager to learn. I remember someone saying to me, "You're going to get so good that you will call names and credit card numbers." I also remember God's response, "That was not Me." Your role as a prophet is not to mimic, rehearse prophecy, prophetically peek, or soothe say. If I need to demonstrate through calling out a number or name, I will, but that's up to Me, and it doesn't make you any less of a prophet any more than prophetic tenure makes you a "master prophet." It is great to have tenure, but the title has no greater value. The job of the prophet is to always say what I say until the day you die. That's it. The closer you draw to me, the more you'll fill up on me, and that will be the more I have to draw from when I deploy you. Make your aim ME and nothing else! I pray to maintain that attitude and understanding wholeheartedly as He deploys me every time.
Compare yourself to no one. You are a mighty force to be reckoned with. Make your standard HIM. Process for propulsion.
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