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The Subtle Test of Success

June 4, 2018

“Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required…” Luke 12:48

When you move into a new home, there is a temptation for you to face. When you graduate with a degree, there is a spiritual danger for you to overcome. If your salary moves from five figures to six figures, there is a subtle test that you will encounter. These are all good gifts to be welcomed and celebrated, but remember that the blessing of God carries within it the subtle test of success.

This is counter-intuitive—the opposite of what we usually think. The time of your greatest spiritual danger may not be when you are sick, but when you are well. The time of your greatest testing may not be when you lose a job, but when you find one. The time when you are most likely to grow cold in your walk with the Lord is not when the stock market goes down, but when it goes up.

Remember this when you are tempted to envy those who have more than you. Don’t wish yourself into another person’s temptation. The very fact that you are envious suggests that it may be God’s grace keeping you from being exposed to such temptations.

There is a story about a man who was being head-hunted by a large company, and his salary tripled overnight. Within a year he had denied his faith and left his wife and two children. Satan got him—and all it took was an increase in his salary.

C. S. Lewis put it like this: “Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.”

Examine your heart—are you envious of someone? Why?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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