What a blessing it is to serve the true and living God, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In our daily lives, we make preparations to go to work, to go to school, to graduate, get a job, etc., but we tend to place only the slightest emphasis on the most important aspect of this life; planning to meet our Maker, the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If you die today - where are you headed? What is your success built upon?
As a child, I was raised in a Christian atmosphere. I grew up around the Church of God, so I learned truth. I thank God every day that I saw righteousness and moral living in the home of my parents. I was taught to respect the house of God, my parent's house, and the saints of God. My attire and conversation reflected that teaching and were always with respect for God's people and my parents.
In my younger years, like so many others, I wanted to be saved because I didn't want to spend eternity in hell. However, I would not stay saved because I allowed my friends and the pressures around me to influence my life. For too long, I was not willing to follow the path of salvation. I saw it as too strict and as a blockage to accomplish the goals I had labeled as successful. As I got older, I tried to build my life around secular things, expecting them to provide me with security and prosperity. What I didn't realize, however, is that true success is not measured by what we attain on the natural side of life. The bible tells us But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33). My testimony is that I did not obtain natural success until I accepted the Lord, became subject to His word, and allowed Him to lead and direct my life.
Shortly after getting saved, I was promoted to a management position for which I had never interviewed. I expected to start working at one company as a Voice Project Manager but once I arrived I was informed that I would be working in a Management position. I was introduced to my new staff and started working in data, which is what I desired.
In another incident, God moved me into a Director's position after three other Directors were laid off. I am really being challenged in the position but I am thankful to God for the job I have. The amazing part of this story is how the Lord prepared me for the position. I work in management in an academic environment where so many have Masters and Doctorate degrees. I felt impressed to go back to school for my Masters. Although I had initially planned to attend one university, the Lord worked things out in a different way when my husband suggested I apply to Northwestern University. I was accepted at Northwestern, completed my degree, published a book and received the aforementioned promotion on my job. At the time I enrolled at Northwestern, I was not aware that my new manager and university president were Northwestern alums, but the Lord knew. As I have obeyed his voice and followed his will for my life, God has opened doors for me that I had never considered.
I see so many of the saints' children, putting off salvation, possibly thinking, as I did, that salvation is too strict. But the Word of God gives us something to think about when it asks in Matthew 16:26 - For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? There is nothing we can accomplish in life and label as real success without God. Accepting Christ into our lives truly allows us the freedom for which we are looking. I missed out on gaining success earlier in life allowing people who I thought were friends, influence me away from God's plan. Regretfully, I didn't adhere to God's word and made many mistakes trying to live life my own way. Please young people don't make the same mistakes. God has such great plans for each of us, especially when we give ourselves to him when we are young.
I hope my testimony will influence at least one person by letting them know that seeking success without seeking God will not profit. When planning for high school, college, a job, an apartment, marriage, or whatever, we must put God first. The bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.
I have now made gains in my life, spiritually and naturally. Upon accepting God into my life and developing a personal relationship with him, I began to understand his love, his mercy, and his goodness. He is truly my best friend and he wants to be yours, as well.