Simplifying Success as Obedience
By: Somer Phoebus of She Works His Way
Hiii, I Can’t Come Down new friends! We’re Michelle + Somer, and any friend of Rachel’s is a friend of ours. We share a similar passion for living the gospel at work – one idea in particular of simplifying success as obedience.
Here’s an excerpt from our book, She Works His Way: A Practical Guide to Do What Matters Most in a Get Things Done World, on this very topic:
God has been trying to teach humans that true success only comes from our obedience to Him since the beginning of time: Eve, Noah, Jonah, Saul, David, and down the list. Despite all the examples we have, both when they got it right and when they got it wrong, the battle between success and obedience continues.
Our main issue isn’t with understanding that following God equals success –most Christians do not disagree with that statement. It is believing that following God is the only definition of success.
I can’t be the only one who has been scrolling Instagram only to get sucked in by a beautiful image of a #designyourlife entrepreneur on her yacht on a Tuesday with a caption like this.
“So glad I was courageous enough to quit the 9-5 and choose a life of freedom. Truly living out my passion!”
Well, yeah! I’d be passionate about weekday yachting too. Sign me up for that gig, please.
Disclaimer: You will not find us beating up on successful people at SWHW or anywhere in these pages. There’s nothing wrong with taking the yacht out on a Tuesday if that’s the life God has blessed you with. However, for a very long time the world has told us that this is how success should look, and now we have social media to literally show us how it looks so that we can compare.
It’s just so dangerous.
You see, your success will not always look like her success, which means a yacht might not ever be a form of transportation for you. Bummer, I know. But we have to be very careful about getting sucked into this type of comparison because if we can’t compare our successes, then we probably shouldn’t try comparing our provisions or blessings.
And while I’ve opened the can anyway, the particular way in which God decides to provide for you or bless you has zero to do with how valuable you are to Him. He doesn’t grade or measure by the same standards we do. To Him, a yacht isn’t a better blessing than being able to pay your light bill.
Success isn’t necessarily fueled by passion, defined by status, or related to your level of freedom. That mindset will most likely leave you frustrated and feeling like a failure. Because in any given moment, there will always be someone who is more excited than you, who has achieved more than you, or who has greater opportunity or flexibility than you do.
So why do I feel like I have to warn you about this gal and her probably very innocent yacht post? Because it’s rare to see an ER night-shift nurse or a high school English teacher post a picture that says, “So glad I’m here instead of on a dumb yacht!”
But I bet some of them are scrolling past her post, wondering If they’ve made a big mistake by not choosing the “life of freedom.” A saying never so true as it is now on social media: The grass really isn’t always greener on the other side.
Especially if the other side requires you to go AWOL on God’s plan for your life.
True freedom only comes from true obedience.
If God is calling you to a new career or giving you a new assignment, it’s definitely okay to accept it! But if not, it’s also very okay to stay right where you are. Staying doesn’t mean you’re not courageous. On the contrary, staying can mean you’re called too. Be careful not to always be looking for more or what’s next. That’s a very easy way to miss what God is doing in and through you where you are now.
Want to break down practically what it looks like to choose obedience as success? We’d love to have that conversation with you inside She Works His Way: A Practical Guide to Do What Matters Most in a Get Things Done World. You can order the book here, and you can read the first chapter for free here.
This excerpt is from Somer Phoebus, She Works His Way: A Practical Guide to Do What Matters Most in a Get Things Done World, “Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group,” 2021. Used by permission. http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
She works his way is an amazing discipleship community for working women who love Jesus. There is so much to love about this community! And their new book is the icing on the cake. They help us process through tough questions like:
- How can I be effective in my work, and stay committed to the gospel?
- How can I be dedicated to my family, when my job is so demanding?
- Why am I working so hard and still so unfulfilled?
- Things are getting done… but are we doing what matters?
If you are looking for support in balancing work, home, and spiritual life then you will enjoy this amazing new resource.
We will be hearing more from my friends Somer and Michelle in the near future, but until that time, I want to encourage you to grab their new book and connect with them on social media. They have been such a gift to me and I want to share them with you!
Rachel G. Scott
Rachel is a wife and a mother, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur. She has been featured nationally and internationally on television, podcast, radio, devotionals, and blogs. As the Founder of the I Can’t Come Down movement, an organization dedicated to helping women walk in their purpose and assignment with focus, she is a former Huffington post contributor and current Youversion and Moody Radio Cleveland Partner. She is also part of The Well Communicators a faith-based speaking team.
Rachel is deeply devoted to serving God, loving and honoring her husband and raising her children in a Godly home where they experience authenticity and learn to embrace their imperfections.