“For some people their apprehension about stepping out in faith is really a fear of failure. They do not do what God has called them to because they are afraid they may not succeed. Listen carefully. When God calls you to something, He is not always calling you to succeed, He’s calling you to obey! The success of the calling is up to Him; the obedience is up to you.” ~David Wilkerson
The Kingdom of God has been rightfully called “The Upside-Down Kingdom”. It’s like stepping through Alice’s Looking Glass into a place where the first are last, and the meek inherit the land, and to be the greatest you must be the servant. Everything we know in the world is turned on its head… including the standard of Success.
Would it shock you to learn that God is not at all interested in your personal success? Joel Osteen has it all wrong. In this Upside-Down place, God is more interested in the Process of making you who he wants you to be than in making you a successful person. He’s more interested in crushing and squeezing you to make you into sweet wine. He may call you to do something which will look like failure in the eyes of the world. He sent Joseph to Egypt as a slave. He sent Paul to Rome in chains. He banished John to a remote island. Why? Because He had a purpose which required this kind of process.
Joseph was to be the source of rescue for his family years later when a drought ravaged the land. Paul was chained to a Roman guard so he would settle down and write the letters of the New Testament. And John was sitting quietly in a cave when the Revelation was given to him. All of these men had to accept what looked like failure in order to achieve the calling.
“[The call of God] has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. Yet God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to use to crush us. We say, ‘If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way, then I wouldn’t object!’ But when He uses someone we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, to crush us, then we object. Yet we must never try to choose the place of our own martyrdom. If we are ever going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed—you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.” ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.