While I was reading Acts this week, I was impressed with how Paul handled the trials he had.  These were not trials as in difficult times, they were real trails, before a judge, with witnesses, etc.  At one-point Paul exercises his right as a Roman Citizen, to be tried in front of Cesar himself.  Before he could be sent to Rome, Paul has one more day in a local court – this time before King Agrippa.  Paul recognizes that the king is familiar with the Jewish culture and customs and begins to give his testimony.  Agrippa begins to recognize that the testimony that Paul is giving is his testimony – his experience with Jesus.  The king then confronts Paul by suggesting that Paul is trying to convert him to Christianity.  Paul’s answer to the king was astounding:

28  And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” 29  And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.” Acts 26:28-29 (ESV)

Something struck me when I (once again) read Paul’s words.  I could feel Paul’s conviction.  He really wanted them all to become Christians.  Something of God’s desire that none should perish made its way from Paul’s head to his heart.  It was not a matter of simple obedience; God’s desire had become Paul’s desire.  I believe that more than anything was the reason for his success as an evangelist.  He was not doing it because he was supposed to, or it was expected of him.  He did it not because God gave Paul the desire of his heart, but because God gave Paul the desire of His heart.

One of the most important elements of success is heart.  What makes Christians successful is God’s heart.  I would go so far as to suggest that whatever you are doing, if you are doing it because it is expected or because you are obligated to do it for God – STOP.  You read that correctly, if you are doing some “good work” because you should, you will not be successful.  Instead, begin to seek God’s heart.  Only then will you be truly successful.