When we think of success, we often think of a great career with a good paycheck that allows us to buy a big house and a new car; and provides us with a good retirement.
Perhaps it means that we become well-known, maybe even a celebrity.
And while these things are not things Christians should necessarily seek after, the Bible does talk about success.
Being successful Christians looks completely different than success in the world.
It has nothing to do with money, prestige, position, or fame and everything to do with heavenly treasure and the favor of God in our life.
Several places in the Bible we find the promise of success. Specifically in Joshua and in Ecclesiastes. The Hebrew word for success is Sakal and is also translated in the Bible as the word “prosper”, which we find in several other places in the Old Testament.
But lest we think that the Bible promises us a life of financial success, prestige, and fame, the Hebrew word for success actually has nothing at all to do with the stuff in this life.
It is not a prosperity gospel at all!
The Hebrew word means: to be prudent, to have understanding and insight, to ponder and give attention to, to comprehend, to consider and teach, to act wisely.
This is very different from today’s concept of success!
We see this very concept in 1 Kings 2 when David instructs his son Solomon as he passes the throne on to him. David says:
“And keep the charge of the LORD your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn;” 1 Kings 2:3
And we wee that Solomon took his father David’s words to heart and became a successful king.
When God came to him in a dream and offered Solomon whatever his heart desired, he asked for wisdom; and that wisdom led to his incredible success.
He didn’t ask for money, fame, or power, he asked for wisdom.
3 Powerful Things Successful Christians Do Everyday
We see this same instruction repeated throughout the Old Testament in relation to success.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8
“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success.” Ecclesiastes 10:10
“Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.” Deuteronomy 29:9
We see that biblical success is preceded by certain things that Christians must do each day.
1. Obey God’s laws
David told Solomon: “…keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses…”
Repeatedly throughout Scripture we see the promise biblical success paired with the command to keep God’s law.
Jesus, Himself, said that we are His friends if we do what He commands us to do.
While we know that God’s love and acceptance of us is not based on our performance, our maturity and development as Christians is directly tied with how willing we are die to the flesh and live according to what the Bible commands us to do.
Many argue that we are not under the law but under grace; and while this is true where our salvation is concerned, if we want to grow in Christ and mature as believers we must make the choice to obey God’s laws.
Obeying God’s law brings biblical success!
2. Know the Bible
It is appalling at times how little Christians know their Bible.
The New Testament warns of this, because not knowing the Bible intimately will cause us to follow “every wind of doctrine”, which is exactly what we see happening!
If we want to obey God’s laws and succeed as godly people, we must first learn what His laws are!
We must know the Bible.
We first begin to know the Bible by committing to reading it everyday. Then we get to know it even more by memorizing it.
But if we really want to know God’s Word intimately, we will meditate on it.
Joshua 1:8 tells us that biblical meditation brings godly success; and we do this by daily taking time to speak God’s Word aloud to ourselves.
The more we speak God’s Word aloud to ourselves, the more His Word begins to form godly behavioral patterns in our life and shape within us a biblical world view!
Reading, memorizing, and meditating on God’s Word brings biblical success.
3. Fear the Lord
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Solomon learned through his biblical success….and failure….the value of fearing the Lord.
David knew that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Psalm 111:10
Solomon learned this as well and repeated it several times in the Proverbs, and described how one fears the Lord, and all of the wonderful things the fear of the Lord will bring:
- Knowledge of God
- A long life
- Strong confidence
- A place of refuge
- A fountain of life
- Riches, honor and life
These are all things that define a successful person, and they all begin with the fear of the Lord.
When one fears God, he will obey God’s laws and he will read, memorize, and meditate on His Word because he will love God’s Word!
The fear of the Lord naturally leads us to the other two things that make us successful because we understand how important they are to ours spiritual growth.
The fear of the Lord is the starting point to biblical success!
If you want to be a successful Christian, these three things are essential: fear God, know His Word, and obey His commands.
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