This year, my prayer life has shifted. As a young emerging leader, I spend a great deal of time reflecting on my personal leadership philosophy, how I role model values, and how it plays out in my public and private life. At this point in my life, I sincerely find myself asking God for "GOOD Success." What is good success?
For me, good success is the kind of success that adds to your life without taking from your peace, joy, hope, and relationships.
You may have heard the expression "all money ain't good money." Well let me tell you, I have personally experienced certain promotions in my life that seemed like open doors but really ended up being a lion's den on the other side. I thank God for those experiences because they ultimately led me to my personal value system when assessing opportunities for the next level.
As I continue to prepare myself, my prayer is that God will refine me and remove anything that does not honor him in my life. Each day, as I give time and attention to the Holy Spirit, God will reveal a "hidden fox" in my life. What is a hidden fox? Hidden foxes are the parts of our personality that God sees and knows but no one else may see.
“The heart is deceitful above all things And it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives? I, the Lord, search and examine the mind, I test the heart, To give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds." - Jeremiah 17:9-10
See, if we are honest. We all have little foxes hiding out in the cores of hearts. The hidden pride, ego, jealousy that no one will ever know about because some of us have become skilled at concealing it. For others, our shortcomings are clear and bright as day. Here is the thing about God, he judges the hidden and public sin just the same. So to condemn one, would mean to condemn all. In the past week, I have begun to see the subtle things in myself and others that I might have overlooked in the past. However, as I experience more success, I learn more and more that these little foxes can be deadly.
“Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that spoil and ruin the vineyards [of love], While our vineyards are in blossom.”
- Song of Solomon 2:15
So where does that leave me? Retreating. Going back under God's shadow that he might prune me YET AGAIN, that I might bear MORE fruit -- allowing God back into my relationships, mindset, goals, leaving no stone unturned so I can get closer to him in mind, body, and spirit.
Have you considered the condition of your heart lately? The posture in which you serve. The way you honor others in secret (or not) when you are mumbling to yourself with no one listening? God sees, God knows. To him, your secret murmuring can be just as volatile as public dishonor. I pray God continues to work on all of us as he refines us for His Glory and for the assignment ahead of each and every one of us.