FAITH & SUCCESS

Posted: April 7, 2012 in Books, Christianity, Education, Family, History, Life, News, Parenting, Quotes, Uncategorized

“Be strong and courageous. Be very careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you: do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

– Joshua 1:7-8 NIV

Continuous conversations, over time, on the subject of success have led me to understand a number of things: 1) Success is relative, 2) Success is inevitable for the sincere seeker, 3) God promises and promotes success, and 4) Success for the Christian, according to scripture, is distinctly different from the world’s standard of success. Recent illumination, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, from the book of Deuteronomy and the book of Acts helps me to better define, for myself, what the bible’s perspective on the subject of success is. It also brings into clarity and question, for me, how my life measures up to what God requires of me that would allow me to see clearly whether I am actually being successful, as a Christian, according to what is written in God’s word.

Success is relative. The sick woman, illustrated in Mark’s gospel, experienced the success of seeking Christ for her healing, despite the condition of being in a state of depletion and disappointment for 12 years. She didn’t erect a great temple, wasn’t regarded as a prominent person in her community, or held a prominent place in society, but she achieved the outcome of her hope in God. How many do we know who resign to defeat in their sickness, or circumstances, doubting there is hope for healing. Aside from Jesus, Peter is the only person, recorded in history, who walked on water. Though it was momentary, his faith in Christ enabled him to do the impossible and, eventually, Peter’s faith ignited the birth of the church of Jesus Christ that added thousands to its numbers daily in the book of Acts. That same faith that enabled him to walk on water, empowered him to recover from the great condemnation he would feel in denying his Savior 3 times before he was reinstated to serve God’s purpose in his generation.

Success is inevitable for the sincere seeker. When you reread and reflect upon what God spoke to Joshua in the first chapter of the book of Joshua, you will discover specific principles God conveys to Joshua that will bring about the success God proclaims to Joshua to walk in. In context to the task given to Joshua to lead Israel into the land of promise, a task greater than what Joshua could achieve on his own, insight reveals what God told Joshua: 1) Be strong (be confident in Me as God), 2) Be courageous (look beyond your fears), 3) Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you (follow me as Moses did), 4) do not turn from it (do not be distracted), 5) Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night (pray about, reflect on and speak what my word says; conversate with others about my word in relation to what you hope for in Me to do according to My promises).

God mentions success twice in verses 7 and 8 of Joshua chapter one. God promotes and proclaims success. Also, with regard to Joshua, this is the same Joshua who sat in the tent while Moses is described as talking with God face to face as one would with a friend. “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.” – Exodus 33:11 NIV It wouldn’t hurt to be in company with those who seek the LORD sincerely too (a biblical principle the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:22).

In Deuteronomy 8 (v.18), God reminds the Israelites their ability to produce wealth comes from Him. He does this to remind them not to forget Him, or the source by which their success is achieved. In the book of Acts 1 (v.8), Jesus explains to His disciples that they will receive power, when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, to be his witnesses to the world about Him and the power of God for salvation. The bible teaches that God gives us power, or ability, through Him working in us and through us, to produce success for ourselves in the form of material wealth and spiritual productivity by sharing the message of faith, leading others to Christ and helping them grow in Christ. If I want to hear Him say, “Well done!” Am I experiencing success currently with the ability He has given me? Which success, from the perspective of heaven, will matter more in eternity Deuteronomy 8:18 or Acts 1:8? Success for the Christian is distinctly different from the world’s standard.

May God bless you and help you make use of the power He has given you to produce wealth and proclaim Christ and His principles to fulfill His purpose for you and experience the fullness of life Christ came for you to have.

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