succeedThe two calls God places upon our life are to serve as a propellant to our soul, moving us forward into newness of life. Therefore, all improvements, reformations, resolutions, and habit-changing challenges are to be governed by one call or the other.

Every work of grace will either align us more closely and intimately to loving God through Jesus Christ or appoint us more clearly to the Spirit led work of loving our neighbor.

Do not give in to despair for the God who is for you is also interceding on your behalf. Do not lose heart or quit if your will is short-lived. It always has been and always will be. The glory of a Christian is that our will is tied to a will beyond our own. When Isaiah the prophet promises strength to those who wait upon the Lord, he is using a word that means being braided or bound inextricably to the Lord. In this way, it is not our will but God’s that is being done.

Don’t grow frustrated with temporary setbacks, especially those involving your own self improvement or maturity. When these moments occur, don’t put on a cloak of frustration and bitterness but instead clothe yourself in humility. Submit yourself to those who have already overcome what you’re working to achieve.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5: 5 – 10)

If at first you don’t succeed with yourself, give yourself again to the Restorer of your soul. Make it your purpose and priority to have your life defined by the calls God has placed upon you.  Enlarge your hope. Refocus your faith. Repent again. Otherwise, you may fall prey to the temptation Eric Hoffer in True Believer talks about: “A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”

Again I say to you, (and remind myself) if at first you don’t succeed with yourself, don’t try the world; go with God!