The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23 NLT)
The Lord is our shepherd. He is always with us. His grace is sufficient for us at all times. The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ has given us access to the throne of Grace where we not only obtain mercy but find more grace for the times we need it most (Hebrews 4:16).
Many of us (especially me) have meditated upon the 23rd Psalm during the trying and troubling times of our lives. We have heard messages about how:
- We have everything we need in Christ
- The Lord will renew our strength
- The love of God overcomes all of our fears
- The Lord will protect and provide for us
- God is with us in every situation
Let’s spend a few minutes and look at the good times in our lives; God is there. His goodness and His mercy pursue us. He anoints us and overflows our lives with blessings. The believer’s life faces challenges, problems, persecution and trials of faith. However, we also experience victory, answers to prayers, the fulfillment of promises and the blessings that follow faithful obedience. We must learn how to equally love and serve the Lord regardless of the circumstances that we find ourselves in.
We may not want to admit it but it is easier for many to pursue the Lord when they experience trouble in their lives. We know we can do nothing without Him but when we are in need our dependence upon Him is readily evident. One of our greatest challenges in our life of faith is to remain diligent and vigilant in our relationship with the Lord during times of success and victory. There is a strong temptation to relax and rely upon our own strength when everything is going right in our lives. In the same way that we pursued the Lord for deliverance from our trouble we should pursue the Lord in praise and thanksgiving in our seasons of success.
Here are some quotes concerning relaxing in seasons of success:
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Bill Gates
“There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.’ Carrie Fisher
“Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility, and commitment.” Ross Perot
As followers of Christ we must constantly keep Christ in the center of our lives; regardless of our temporal circumstances. When we have money in the bank or are struggling to pay our bills – Jesus is the center of our lives. When we are completely whole and healthy or when we are faced with sickness – Jesus is the center of our lives. When all of our family members have been born-again or they are living separated from His grace – Jesus is the center of our lives. We do not serve Jesus for favorable circumstances in the present life; we serve Jesus because He is God and He has redeemed us with His own blood.
Catch the foxes, the little foxes, before they ruin our vineyard in bloom. (Song of Solomon 2:15 GNT)
Let me try to sum this verse up. Don’t let the little things creep into your life that can destroy your fruit. In your seasons of success there will come temptations to relax your life morally and spiritually. Allowing this to happen is like letting little foxes into your vineyard. If you do – your fruit will be destroyed.
Jesus is the center of our lives and must remain so regardless of external circumstances. During your times of victory and success keep your eyes of Jesus. Don’t relax your faith and let the little foxes of this world destroy the blessings that God has given you.