Derek Prince - Success Will Not Provide Security
This is an excerpt from: Father God
The third thing that comes through knowing the Father is total security. In John 10:29. Am I right? Matthew 10:29: Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. You know that it says two sparrows are sold for one copper coin. Five sparrows are sold for two. So if you buy five you get one extra. You understand? It’s not just four, it’s five. They were so little value that you could get five for two copper coins, like two pennies. And Jesus said, Not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s will.
That's right, I was in Matthew anyhow, I just didn't tell you, that's all. And Jesus says, Do not fear. Therefore you are of more value than many sparrow. Every now and then you will see a little boy or a little girl held in the father’s arms, lifted up, cheek pressed against the father’s lapel, and there may be chaos all around, things maybe seem to be falling apart, but that little child is no the least bit disturbed, because he or she is in the father’s arms. And that’s how God wants us to be, safe in the Father’s arms. No matter what storms rage, no matter what evil forces assail us, I’m in my Father’s arms. I’m content to be a little child. I’m over 80, but I like to think of myself as still held in my Father’s arms. John 10:29, see that's why I got to Matthew. Never mind. John 10:29, Jesus says this: My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
So when you are in the Father’s hand there’s nothing that can snatch you away. And we’re living in times when it’s pretty important to be in the Father’s hand. And things are not going to get better in the world, believe me. They’re going to get darker and fiercer. If time permits and we live I’ll probably bring a last message on that theme. But life isn’t going to get easier. Life isn’t going to get less dangerous. It’s going to be more dangerous. And it’s very, very important that you know you’re in the Father’s hand. Jesus said, My Father is greater than all. There’s no one that can snatch you from the Father’s hand. And finally, knowing the Father, provides motivation for serving Him. I think this is often neglected. Jesus said about His own relationship with the Father in John 8:29: And he who sent Me is with Me. [That’s the Father.] The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.
What was the motivation of Jesus’ service? Was it success? Was it popularity? It was to please the Father. And I believe it’s so important in the Body of Christ that that motive is restored. Because, frankly, one of the main problems in the Church today is competition between ministers and ministries. Do I have the biggest mailing list? Do the most people attend my meetings? Am I on the most television stations? Or whatever it may be. People think that success provides security. It doesn’t. In fact, the more successful you are, the more insecure you are, because you might lose it. Somebody might have a bigger mailing list or draw a larger crowd or be on more television stations, and then where will your security be? Security comes out of your motive. My motive, Jesus says, is to please My Father. And I really have found in my life, since this experience came to me, it’s changed my motivation.
I was as a child and a boy very success-oriented. And it so happened I was very successful. I was always head of the class. I obtained a scholarship to Eton. From Eton I obtained a scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge. At King’s College, Cambridge, I became the senior student and at a very early age, age 24, I was elected to a Fellowship. So I know what success is. But success didn’t give me security. Then I became, I mean, you’ll have to understand I was a hippie before my time, before there were any hippies. So I became a conscientious objector, which is pretty difficult since my father was a colonel and my grandfather was a major general and my uncle was a brigadier. For me to be a conscientious objector was not in the family tradition! But I went before the tribunal and the vice provost at King’s was the man conducting the tribunal. He said, Are you willing to serve in a non-combatant unit? I said, Fine, as long as I don’t have to kill people.
So that’s how I ended up in the Royal Army Medical Corps. And, I have to say, it was really not the kind of career that suited me. But I got saved, you see. As long as I was walking around in my Fellow’s gown, walking over the grass, and drinking in the Fellow’s lounge, I didn’t need God too much. But when all that was stripped away from me, and I became, by a freak of promotion, a local-acting-unpaid-lancecorporal, people asked me sometimes, What is a local-acting-unpaid-lance-corporal? And if you haven’t been in the British Army you can’t see all those dashes. L-A-U- and so on. Well, I said to people, It’s like being as near as you can to being a worm without being a worm. And that’s when I got saved. And God radically and totally transformed me.
Well, I have to tell you that promotion comes with salvation. So I got promoted, contrary to all Army regulations, because I’d been a conscientious objector. I was promoted to be a corporal. I went on a certain course, and with my background it really wasn’t a problem to me to stand on parade ground and shout at people and tell them what to do. I mean, it was second nature. So I passed the course, and when I came back I found on orders I was promoted to be a corporal. You see, salvation brings promotion. So the commanding officer who was a doctor from Northern Ireland, Colonel Dan McVicker, sent for me, to tell me about my promotion. I mean, if you haven’t been in the British Army there are things you cannot understand. He said to me, Good morning, Corporal Prince. I said, Good morning, sir. He said, How’s the cooking going? Well, that was a totally unexpected question. But, when you’ve been in the army a few months you learn discretion. You don’t commit yourself.
So I gave him a non-committal answer. I said, It seems about the same as usual, sir. Which, in my judgment was awful. He said, Didn’t you know you’re the corporal cook of this unit? I said, No, sir. No one ever told me. Well, he said, we wanted to promote you and there was no vacancy for a corporal except for a cook, so we made you corporal cook. By the mercy of God I never did any cooking. But you see, that was when I met the Lord, when I was as near to being a worm as you can be without being one. But I still had this drive for success. I was very much a success-oriented person. I didn’t esteem success the way the world does. I didn’t expect to be promoted as an officer, but I expected to succeed in the ministry. And actually, God brought me to a place of almost total despair. I was a pastor. Some of you know I used to hold meetings at Speaker’s Corner, Marble Arch, three days every week. And we saw people saved. We saw people healed. We saw people baptized in the Holy Spirit when that was very, very rare. But I had this awful problem of depression.
And there was this thing that said to me, Others may succeed, but you can’t. And so God brought me right down, and then He showed me this demon of a spirit of heaviness. And I called upon the Lord and I was delivered from it. But God had to let me come right down before He would lift me up. But even then I was always, in a way, conscious of success. And in some ways I became successful. But success doesn’t bring security. In fact, the more successful you are, the more you’re threatened by other people’s success. And don’t tell me that’s not a problem in the Body of Christ because I know it is. This is my church. I’m the pastor. This is our movement. We’re the biggest. Etcetera. I’m not saying that critically. I’m just saying, it’s not the way to security. Security is very simple. It’s knowing God as your Father, and making it your aim to please Him.
There is no situation in which you cannot be motivated by that. You may be in a traffic jam, you may be late for an appointment, you may be stewing there in the road, you’ve clenched your fists and you’re all tense, and then you say to yourself, What am I doing here? I’m here to please my Father. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, it’s my reactions that matter. Am I reacting in a way that’s pleasing to my Father? Now I haven’t mastered that, but I’m a lot nearer to it than I was. I have this intense desire to please my Father, my heavenly Father. And I wouldn’t trade that for any other motivation that’s in the Body of Christ. And you see where the ministers of Christ are motivated that way, there’s no room for competition. If each of us is equally set on pleasing the Father, we’ll never compete with one another. You see, there’s a secret here and it comes through knowing the Father.