How to fill the days… We can fight for opportunities to gratify the flesh, or we can fight for opportunities to satisfy what the Lord wishes for us to have. Both are quite the same. In both, we fight for something more. And, often, both ways can or will eventually lead to some level of success. But how we earn that success may depend on what we believe. People who don’t believe in living their lives according to scripture may find themselves doing things that they regret. Christians, however, should always look to Christ for opportunities. We need to work hard to achieve, but we should never find ourselves sinning because we are scared to lose.
The Christian way of achieving success may take more endurance to sustain, because doing things God’s way doesn’t always rocket us to the top. If it did, how would we learn what God says is the most powerful tool on earth–faith? God’s way is the best way. “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:11-12). And as we work to achieve in the way the Lord wants us to achieve–fighting against giving up on God and taking our lives into our own hands–we must remember that no matter how bare things get around us that the Lord will not forget about us. He will keep us with everything we need to keep moving forward and to keep fighting with everything we’ve got. Snap out of it, have patience and know that the Lord is real. “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).
When opportunity arises, study it carefully. Is it an opportunity that will make us sin to get? Are we reaching for the opportunity because we are scared of what God thinks or because we are scared of what other people think? Jesus is our God, and with Jesus we will not have to beg for success. Always look to Christ for guidance, because if we take something that isn’t ours, we just may miss out on what the Lord has for us.
Most importantly, in the same way we work to advance in our careers, work to advance toward righteousness. Always look first to Christ to change us internally before we look for him to change our material wealth, because what’s internal–everything that is heart, character and spiritual–is what will provide unbreakable success for us. Jesus will grow a peace in us, over-time, through practice and endurance, that will last into eternity. And with that peace, we will not miss out on what Jesus wants to bring us, because we will have fought hard not to miss it.
Furthermore and utmost, once we achieve a faith that brings peace and a peace that brings joy, we will be better people for this world. We will be the light of people’s lives, shining brightly in the name of Jesus when night has fallen everywhere. And that light will not speak out of instinct and it will not speak rudely on the behalf of our own opinions, but it will speak patiently with the understanding that the path toward heaven is always advancing upward–some people are still on the ground while others have climbed a little higher.