I heard a minister share about a man who had converted to Christianity from Islam. This cost the man his family and his friends. When asked what he said to the people who questioned his costly conversion he stated, “Well, its like this: Suppose you were going down the road and suddenly the road forked in two directions. You didn’t know which way to go; and there at the fork were two men—one dead, and one alive—which one would you ask to show you the way?”
It was Ken Blanchard who shared Satan’s success plan. The equation is simply your performance, plus other people’s opinions, equals your self worth. Religion operates much the same way. Many people have success in finances and in their business, but they are failures in life. Many people find success in their performance and in pleasing other people, but they are not truly free inside. Many people even perform well in their religion, putting on the right face and saying the right things, but they may be completely unchanged in their very heart.
It was for these reasons that Randy White aptly shared, “Many people have success, far fewer have victory.” Success can be measured by external things, victory is an internal sense of well being. We all face forks in the road, the question is, will we listen to one who is dead, or the man who is alive? Paul was celebrating the victory he knew because Christ is risen, and for this he proclaimed, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16).
For Paul the cup of communion is a blessing because it is a symbol of all victory, something far above success. Paul knew temporary success as an Israelite, but he found true victory when he surrendered his life to Christ. As a Roman citizen and an Israelite Paul knew respect and wealth and intellectual pursuits and power. As a follower of The Way he finally found true peace, he found the one who was dead and is alive again and followed him on the path of victory. For this he said the cup that represents the blood of Christ is twice blessed!
The next time you are in a fast food restaurant, pay attention to the design of the chairs. They are constructed in such a way to become uncomfortable after just a few minutes, one more way society encourages constant movement so you don’t stop too long in one place. But I encourage you to slow down and consider the cup of blessing, that in the fork in the road is the One who is alive, the One who can lead you from success to victory in all things. Be sure to read some more of Ken Blanchard’s work at the Cleveland Library, then join us at Akron First on Sunday mornings to celebrate true victory.