“That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.” / “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (1 Thessalonians 2:12 / Ephesians 5:17)
William Law was born in 1686, and he died in 1761. Maybe you have never heard of him. He was not a celebrity or a politician or a war hero. He was not even a popular evangelist or a missionary martyr. Whatever he did in his life was not “important” enough to get him fame or to keep him memorable to us who are living now, more than 200 years after he has gone to be with the Lord.
But William Law – whoever he was – wrote this:
“From morning to night, keep Jesus in thy heart,
long for nothing, desire nothing, hope for nothing
but to have all that is within thee changed into
the spirit and temper of the holy Jesus.”
What is your idea of “success”? Is it that you would make a lot of money? Is it that people would know your name and remember all the things you did in your life? For William Law, “success” meant becoming more and more and more like Jesus Christ, from the inside out. He wanted to keep Jesus as his main goal. He wanted to be Christlike more than he wanted anything else. We don’t remember much about William Law today. In the world’s eyes, he was probably never very “successful.” But Christians can learn from his writings, and Christians can learn from his personal example.
If you are trusting in Christ as your Savior, is it your desire to learn God’s will for your life? God’s idea of “success” is not that a person does a lot of famous things or earns a lot of money. The Bible teaches that God wants Christians to glorify Him by becoming more and more like His Son, Jesus Christ. That is God’s idea of “success” for His people. This is what God wills; this is what God wants. 1 Thessalonians 4:3a says, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.”
Sanctification is the process of becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. Sanctification is what William Law was longing for. Why? Because it was William Law’s greatest desire to please God by becoming like Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
To trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, yet never think about Him, never read the Bible, never pray to Him, and never tell others about Him – that must be a disappointment to Him. Because of Who Christ is and what He has done for us, becoming more like Him should be our greatest desire – no matter what else we are able to do in our lives, and no matter what else we might be remembered for.
God is pleased when we are becoming more like His Son.
» Am I more concerned about pleasing myself or pleasing God?
» What is my idea of a “successful” life, and does it match up with God’s idea of “successful”?
» How have I been changing to become more like Jesus Christ?