Our culture has been completely transformed by the power of instant success. Programs like American Idol brought us all into an awareness of such a possibility. We celebrate with the ‘average Joe’ or the ‘girl next door’ who became household names overnight.

Even our children can give us a list of people who are TikTok famous. One video can go viral and get millions of views in a few short hours.

In the Church, our understanding of the verse, “We are in the world but not of it” must expand and deepen. In this world, the value of growth and preparation is minimized. Often, because of the power of social media, we can easily ignore things like preparation and development of skill over time.

The grace of God absolutely brings speed and the redemption of time, but we must not ignore the balance of God’s counsel:

 And as Jesus continued to grow in body and mind, he grew also in the love of God and of those who knew him. (Luke 2:52 Phillips)

The soil itself makes the plants grow and bear fruit; first the tender stalk appears, then the head, and finally the head full of grain.

(Mark 4:28 Good News Translation)

He is trying to teach us letter by letter, line by line, lesson by lesson. (Isaiah 28:10 Good News Translation)

The Apostle Paul called himself a wise master builder. He said,

“According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each person must be careful how he builds on it.” (I Corinthians 3:10 NASB)

In this verse, Paul emphasizes what we already know–that it is not possible to have a sturdy building without a firm foundation being set. Then the building will increase in height and strength as each brick is laid. As the other architectural and structural elements are added, eventually a useful and impressive building will occupy that space. 

The miraculous nature of God will never undermine His wisdom. He is a God of order and strategy. We can see this clearly in the Creation account in Genesis. Day by day He perfected the universe until it was ready to accommodate the race of men.  

We are commanded as Believers to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1). As He is methodical and intentional in His work, so must we be. It is easy to desire the type of success that seems to spring up overnight. We may often seek the attention of successful people to network with. Or we may focus on developing external tokens of success, like material wealth. Sometimes we imitate the style of influential ministries, employing their mannerisms and marketing techniques. 

However, true success and lasting impact will be seen in our lives when we do what the Bible tells us to do: 

“…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 3:18)

Growth is a process and a product of continuity over time. As we invest our time and intention into yielding to the ability of God’s Spirit in us and into becoming intimately acquainted with Him, we will become living testimonies of His wonders. 

Faith Challenge: Have you ever intentionally developed a relationship with someone? What did you do? Over the next 30 days, approach Jesus as a person you admire and whom you’d like to know better. Carve out specific time to sit with Him and His Word. Document the things you hear Him say and what you learn of Him.