Athlete, Here is Fulfillment and Significance
Galatians 1:24 (NIV)
And they praised God because of me.
Want to live a fulfilled life, not just live? Want to taste something even better than success? I do. I bet you would too.
The apostle Paul lived a life of tremendous accomplishment. He reached the pinnacle of professional power, status and success. He acquired much control, comfort and approval among men.
Then he met Jesus on a dusty Damascus road. The light of His presence blinded Paul to everything he thought important and illumined Paul to see himself, others, this world, and especially Jesus so much better, as he ought. He was never the same again.
Gone was the idea that success is to be chased and that power, control, comfort and approval are to be sought, worshiped and rule the day. He saw all these now as “idols of the heart” (Ezekiel 14:1-11) that cannot satisfy, as enemies that only destroy in the end. What a discovery that became!
So Paul shifted from living for success to something better. God helped him see beyond sight, to see significance as better than success and what fulfilled living looks like. Today’s verse gives it to us in a nutshell: “They praised God on account of me.“
A fulfilled life is birthed in others praising God because of us. A significant life is built by rejecting the idols of my heart*, choosing significance over success, and making my aim the glorifying of God by others on account of me. Galatians 1:24 gives us all the clues we need to get there. Praise God for this revelation!
Do you see significance, not success, as the better pursuit, the greater reward? Which heart idol (power, control, comfort, approval) might be eclipsing God’s glory in and through you to others right now? What simple, surrendered act of service could you bring to another today that might cause that one to praise God?
A prayer to consider: Father, thank You for the light of Your Word that exposes the idols of my heart and calls me to a life of fulfillment not consumption, of significance more than success, of true worship. Father, thank You for Jesus who models this significant, fulfilled life so beautifully and so perfect for me.
Father, thank You for Your Spirit that is constantly committed to fill and empower me to do the same. I want Galatians 1:24 playing out in me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
* “An ‘idol of the heart’ is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give … An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.’” –Tim Keller