Those who know me best would likely say—and I would agree —that I am a very competitive person.A few have even gone so far as to say that I am the most competitive person they know. I certainly would dispute that— because I believe my husband holds that position— but I do confess that I love winning and am dedicated to excelling in whatever I do.

As much as I love winning a game or achieving the highest goal possible in whatever endeavor I undertake, what matters most to me is that I “win” in life.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that most people spend more time planning for a vacation than they do for their retirement.Similarly and even sadder, I would say most people spend more time focused on winning an event in life than they do on living a “winning life”.

In order to win at anything, there has to be a clear understanding of what the purpose and goal is.I believe that is the underlying reason most people do not “win” at life: they really do not know their purpose for living, and therefore they cannot know if their life has been lived for its intended purpose.

In a world where the theory of evolution reigns supreme, many people do not know that they were created by a loving, sovereign God who has given them a divine and life-fulfilling purpose.The assumption in our godless society is that our lives are our own; that we can experience a fulfilled life doing whatever we feel like doing, whenever we feel like doing it.

I believe this deception is at the root of the widespread depression, suicide, murder, and in general “aimless” living that dominates our culture. When we understand that our lives are not our own and that we are created by God; in His image; for His pleasure and glory; everything about our lives comes into clear focus and we will have clarity as well as direction for meaningful living.I know when I truly comprehended the words found in Revelation 4:11 that my world was revolutionized:

“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.”

When we understand we were created for God’s glory, it becomes incumbent upon us to know what brings Him glory. Jesus tells us in John 15: 8, “This is to my Father’s glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

And what is the fruit that He longs for us to bear?It’s the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). It is the fruit that reflects the character of God Who created us.When we bear this kind of fruit— fruit which is consistent with repentance—it proves that a person has turned away, or repented, from a life of sin (Matthew 3:8) and points people to the One in whose image we were created.

We can only produce that wonderful fruit if we are “abiding in Christ”— which we can only do if we obey His commandments (John 15:1-17). We can only obey His commands, if we have His Holy Spirit in us.And we can only receive the Holy Spirit when we put our trust in the atoning work Jesus did on the cross for us and by faith accept Him as our personal Savior.(Ephesians 1:13)

Are you producing the life transforming “fruit of the Spirit”?Are you daily walking in obedience to the commands God has provided in the bible to give you direction for living a “winning” life? By choosing to live for God’s glory and inviting the Holy Spirit to take control of your life, you CAN live a “winning life” that will bring joy to God, others, and yourself while you live. Surrendering your will to the perfect will  of God will also result in you hearing the most laudatory words imaginable when your life on earth is over, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Now, that is a goal worth living—and even dying— for!

Are you living your life in such a way that you think the Lord will speak those words to you when your life is over?

written by Julie Van Gorp