Having a bridal perspective of the kingdom of God changes the way evangelists preach salvation, pastors counsel people in difficulty, teachers teach the Bible, forerunners prophesy or apostles build churches. It affects how we view people and preach on salvation, holiness or judgment. We are saved “from something” terrible and “to something” glorious. We need salvation to escape hell as well as to qualify and empower us to engage in a deep eternal relationship with God (1 Cor. 1:9).
– Mike Bickle, “The Bridal Paradigm of the Kingdom”
What does true success look like?
We tend to, by nature, have a very short-sighted view of success. We think of success in terms of the quality of our life now. Have we achieved our goals? Are we living the way that we want to? Are we happy? Often, subjective measurements determine short-sighted definitions of success. Jesus has a very different view of success – one related to the quality of our lives over billions of years, not simply mere decades. The question of success, therefore, becomes even bigger: what makes us successful both today, and for ages to come?
The answer is found in what Jesus considers true wealth, or what He called, “treasures in heaven”. What are they?
The primary “currency” in eternity is love formed in our hearts by God in this life. Love experienced (from Jesus) is the only way to see love expressed (back to Jesus and to others). Success in this life depends on the continual fight to experience more of the love of God. This is why we fight for purity and holiness – to clear away the obstacles that make experiencing the love of Jesus more difficult. This is why we fight to serve, give, and forgive others when they wound us – family and ministry relationships are the arena that presses us to grow in love.
Is “success” defined by how much we grow in love? Or, is it defined by how much we produce, how much we do, or how high we ascend on a ladder of recognition and influence? If the answer, by the grace of God, is about love, then we must approach life in an entirely different way. A different formula must determine the redefinition of our motives, goals, and pursuits. Everything changes when life is all about growing in love.