Revelation 18:2 “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”
One of the most dangerous times of life is when you are on top of your world and it seems as if you are invincible. The undefeated sports team or the team that is the champion can often think their presence will cause them to win, only to find themselves losing to an inferior opponent. It is very dangerous when an individual seems to be on top of their world and nothing seems like it can stop them. Likewise, the church that has seen great growth can often find success to be their enemy to their destruction.
Success also brings enemies, and these enemies are all out to topple you. You may have influence, but you have to realize that your influence is because of your success. The moment you fall, those who once stood with you will often stand against you. When you fall, those who once used to cheer your success will cheer your fall. Continued success is a very dangerous time in any individual or institution’s life.
Babylon was the great city. It was the great city from which every nation was fed. The wealth of this great city was matched by none. The power of this great city could not be topped by any other nation. Yet, God says that one day this great city will fall and the messengers will cry out at the time of the fall, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.” What is it that would cause such a great city to fall? What is it that could cause those who are on top of their world to experience a fall? Let me share what leads to a fall.
First, complacency leads to a fall. When you lose your hunger or drive to keep pushing like you used to push when you were not on top of your world is when you are on your way to failure. What got you to the top is what you must do to stay on top. Just because you have gotten to the top of your world does it mean that you will always be on the top of your world. Complacency has caused many people to become comfortable with their sin to their destruction. Complacency has caused many churches to be comfortable with their attendance only to see their size dwindle. Many businesses have become complacent with their success only to become comfortable with mediocrity. Complacency always leads to mediocrity, and mediocrity always leads to destruction. You must guard against complacency when you are on top of your world.
Second, pride and haughtiness always leads to a fall. When you start believing in yourself and your abilities instead of realizing that you need God is when a fall is inevitable. Many individuals have believed that success will continue because of who they are and what they have done. You must never become so confident in yourself and your abilities that you believe success will continue to come. Destruction is around the corner when overconfidence in your own abilities dominates your thinking.
My friend, success does not mean that you have arrived. Yesterday’s success does not guarantee success today. You need to be as hungry for God to do more through your life after success as you were before success to see continued success. Never let success become your focus, but look at the areas where you need to improve. If you stay focused on how much more you need to do, you can keep improving and keep success from becoming your enemy.