I love that quote by Francis Chan because he sums up exactly what the Enemy of Humanity does in order to distract us: he makes us change our idea of what success means.
Distraction is his diabolical device. Here's how he distracts us:
The first step is changing our audience. Our audience becomes other people rather than God. We want people to applaud us, we want people to know our name, we want people to think we have succeeded..............and when they do, we convince ourselves we have succeeded -- when -- from eternal perspective... we have failed.
The second step is to change the location of where we want to succeed. Jesus always spoke to His disciples about "The Kingdom of God" (email me and I'll email you all the verses).... another Kingdom.. an Eternal Kingdom. "If you want to be great in THAT Kingdom", He said, "become a servant of all." In the first chapter of Acts, after His Resurrection, the Bible says He spent many weeks speaking to them about The Kingdom of God, but these people STILL focused on the Kingdom of Israel... "are you going to kick those Romans out now, Lord?" It comes naturally to us to focus on here rather than there.. that's why the Holy Spirit HAS to come and live in us... to teach us, lead us, convict us, comfort us.. Succeeding here brings some satisfaction.. but can never compare to the glory that awaits us. We need to choose to succeed there more than here. Sadly, most of us cannot "see" that far.
The third step is forgetting the real story.
If we say we believe the Bible, then we know that it is the story of the fall of man. It's tragic, really. There is sure death waiting for every soul. Every soul will have to pay for every sin. BUT God has provided a way. We believe that every person can be delivered from Death, given new Life, be restored to our Father in Heaven and live again.. live forever. There is no song, no sermon, no story, no funny personality, no clever turn of words- NOTHING - that can change the story but JESUS. What He did, what He is doing and what He will do. The story is Jesus.
Good for you if you have succeeded in your career or ministry. Enjoy the moment. Trust me...it will pass.
Just take a moment to consider if heaven is applauding you.
Or if you are applauding yourself.