Could we say that a successful Christian life consists of having victory over sin? It is easy to focus on ministry and activities a person does. We measure the success of a pastor by the size of the local church he leads. We read a missionary biography and are impressed by how many tribes that person reaches. In the secular world success is measure by accomplissement.
More I read the Bible more I find that true success is more related to holiness. We are engaged in a spiritual battle against sin. Real success seems to have a moment by moment victory over sin. The good news is that God gave us the power to have such victory. It is a live a life similar to the life Jesus lived on earth. To live like Christ in a fallen world.
Let me share with you a note written by Hannah Whitall Smith to her cousin Carrie on February 26, 1867.
The whole matter lies in this—trusting Jesus to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. It is taking Him to be our daily, hourly, momentary Saviour from the power of sin, just exactly as we took Him to be our Saviour from its guilt. We have actually no more to do in the one case then in the other. He assumes all the responsibility and accomplishes all the work. Our only part is to commit ourselves to Him, and trust Him with implicit faith. All you can do is to commit yourself to Him this very moment to begin the work from now and carry it on in His own way. Just say to Him continually, “I trust you, I trust you.” And you will find that your faith will grow wonderfully.
Try the plan of handing over your temptations to Him to conquer, and you will be astonished at its success. In short, trust Him with your whole self, with all your life—every moment of it, with everything you are, or have, or do. Let Him, in short, be your life. It is a great trust, but He is worthy of it. He cannot possibly fail you in the least particular. He is infinitely trustworthy. No human words can set forth His worthiness to be trusted to the uttermost. It seems to me I never really trusted Him before, and it makes my heart ache to think of the long years in which I have dishonored Him so much when He was so worthy to be trusted!
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).