I used to define success as massive amounts of money.
The typical American stuff. The big house, the children (who apparently, indicate success with their mere existence), being married for the rest of your life (forget the quality of it). That was it.
Where did that come from? Culture? Upbringing? What I saw as a child? What I heard? All of the above, probably.
What is true success? Honestly. Picture the end of your life. What are you really going to care about?
What creates a legacy?
What starts the snowball rolling down the hill of generations that we’re powerless to stop or slow down?
Do success and legacy hand in hand?
Because you can give 80 hours a week of your life to building a multi-million dollar empire. You could be the guy who created Microsoft or Google or Starbucks that DOES affect people every single day.
But who are you in the process? Where is your heart?
What do you do home to at night?
Is your home life a mess?
So if you get to the end of your life and you built an empire, but you go home to a spouse that can hardly look at you, who you can’t even have a conversation with; and you go home to children who you have lost completely and who go every kind of astray, but by golly, you’ve got your empire.
Was it worth it then?
Are you a success if you’ve left a legacy?
I challenge that we dig deep. That we really, truly, dig deep into what success and legacy means and learn what it looks like in our life to weave them together and be both.
It has nothing to do with money.
I believe God has riches for every single one of His kids because He loves us and the heavens have roads paved with streets of gold. Even if we never see it on earth, we will be rich in paradise for eternity, because that’s our Father. That’s His character and what He really wants for us.
Success looks different to me than it used to.
It’s not found in blog views, dollar signs, the number on the scale, possessions or square feet anymore.
It’s found in the consecration.
It’s found in the private moments where it’s just me and my Father and He meets me there.
It’s in the spontaneous, “Go pray for them” moments in public places that push me and test my level of true obedience to His nudges because He’s trusting me to know His voice and obey.
It’s in knowing my Father so intimately and trusting Him so fiercely that I can cry out to Him in the ugliest, most undignified way, ugly tears and cracking voice and all, and trust Him to come for me, because He’s shown me He will.
It’s in my marriage. Oh my goodness, it’s there. It’s in the wife I am regardless of Joey’s mood on a particular day.
It’s in if I’m supportive and loving when my husband needs the person who knows him best to bring his feet back to the ground.
In the private moments, am I his biggest cheerleader, who uses the fact that I know him intimately and deeply, to be in his corner the most? Or am I taking advantage of that to degrade and tear him down and nullify the character traits I saw in his heart that made me fall in love with him another lifetime ago?
It’s in the mother I am when no one is watching.
It’s easy to appear like anything you want to. But is it real?
When I have the power to use my words against my children, or bite my tongue and choose the latter, that is success.
When I have the power to discipline in anger or intentionally choose to teach and refine and choose the latter, that is success.
When I recognize that I do have power and authority with my children, and use it when it’s needed instead of micro-managing and discouraging them, that is success.
When I discern when they need love or when they need to be corrected, or when they need to be corrected IN love, that is success.
When I sense that they need their mother in this moment, or a friend in that moment, that is success.
When I show them what a loving wife and we show them what a loving marriage is that honors God first, that is success.
But it’s so much deeper than that.
When we show them Jesus, that is true success. No, not simply taking them to church to tick the box. Real life application Monday – Saturday, too.
When they see their Mama worship in the mundane and get wrecked in the kitchen, that is success.
When they hear us pray firece prayers and know that prayer is the vehicle to the One who brings breakthrough, that is success.
When they know how to pull heaven down to earth because they’ve heard us do it a thousand times and know their Father personally enough to know that He hears them and will come for them, just them, that is success.
When they see us kneeling and ugly crying and being wracked with the power of the Spirit that breathed life into Adam, that is success. When they see us on our face before our Father, that is success.
When they see us stepping out in walk on water faith and not being bound by fear and timidity, that is success.
When they know and recognize the Holy Spirit moving and press in and are not afraid because this is so normal to them it’s expected, that is success.
When they pray and worship as a default and not only as a hail Mary, that is success.
When revival starts in my children and spreads like all-consuming wildfire, that is success.
And one day so far away that I can barely grasp it today, our grandchildren are going to be impacted by what my view of success was.
Success is no longer in what people see or perceive or think they know about me.
It’s all about what my Father sees and what He thinks, and caring so much more about His view of me.
I’m a fourth generation intercessor, and I’m raising the fifth, who will raise the sixth, who will raise the seventh.
And it all started with my great-grandmother’s view of success… Shoot, maybe it was her mama, but that’s as far back as I know of.
But if it did start with Grandma Hall, it started at the end of a quarter mile driveway, so long they called it “the lane”.
It started in a true farmhouse (not Hobby Lobby’s depiction), that I ever so vaguely remember at the age of maybe five or six years old. I remember the dark wood it was made up of, the porch with the few wooden, broken steps, and the spider webs, and being surrounded by green trees and hills.
Generational hunger started in that home with even indoor plumbing that has made its way to me.
God does not care who you are, where you are, or where you’ve been. He just wants your heart.
Raising my children with a front row seat to hunger for more of Jesus is what I now call success.
Success is three things to me: genuine consecration and relationship with my Father, having a long lasting marriage that honors Jesus first and outlasts every storm, and raising revival kids who personally know their Jesus and are on fire for Him.
That is what will satisfy me at the end of my life.
Success is caring far more what the Father thinks of you.
It’s the prayer of my heart that Jesus would make both my life, and your life, both a success and a legacy by His standards, not ours or the world’s.
All eyes on Jesus.
That is the true definition of both success and legacy.