Christians disagree among themselves. Non-Christians have their point of view. The question today: is it Biblical to want and pursue success?
Part 1 of a 4 part series on Success and the Christian Woman
Let me start by letting you know where I stand. I believe it is the will of God for His children to be successful. Now, how that success looks, and what that definition is, I'm not going to debate today.
As a noun, success is defined by Dictionary.com as:
1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals.
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
3. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors:
4. a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.:
God Delights in the Success of His Children
Psalm 35:27 - "And let them continually say, "Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant."" NKJV
Deuteronomy 8:18 - "Remember the LORD your God. He is the One who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant He confirmed to your ancestors with an oath." NLT
We Should Pray for Success
I Chronicles 4:10 - "And Jabez called on the LORD God of Israel saying, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your Hand would be with me, and that YOU would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted him what he requested."
Psalm 90:17 - "and may the Lord our God show us His approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!" NKJV
Psalm 118:25 - "Please, LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success." NKJV
Nehemiah 1:11 - "O LORD, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring You. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me." NLT
The LORD Can Give Success No Matter the Natural Circumstances
Joseph: - Genesis 39:2,3 - "The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand." NKJV
Joseph: Genesis 39:23 - "The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph's authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it to prosper." NKJV
Isaac: Genesis 26:1 - "There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham..." vs 12-14 "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him." NKJV
Psalm 1:1-3 "Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbanks, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
What about New Testament Success?
Some would say that all I've offered are Old Testament scriptures for my belief. Yep - you're right. And, I'd add that I left out dozens of scriptures that could show different times when the Lord sent blessings and success, when His people prayed for success, when they didn't pray and He gave them success any way.
In the New Testament, after the resurrection of Jesus, we find ourselves under a New Covenant, where the Jewish law is abolished (Hebrews 7:18,19.) Christians now live by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ under the Covenant of Grace (Galatians 3:10-14.) We see glimpses of this covenant in the Old Testament when we look at the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. These men lived without the law, in relationship with God, benefiting from the promises and protection of the Lord.
Because we live under a better covenant, should we expect that the blessings and provision of the Lord would be less? For me, I say no.
There is a right way and a wrong way to seek success.
Ecclesiastes 4:4 in the New Living Translation says, "Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless--like chasing the wind."
Conversely, Psalm 37:3-4 tell us, "Trust in the LORD, and do good. Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. "
As people who believe there is more to life than the here and now, our attention should always be looking toward Jesus and our eternity. Yet, as we live in the here and now, we live in an economy that runs by position, authority, power, persuasion and, yes, money or some type of exchange of goods or services.
Our heart attitude toward God is humility and thankfulness for all He has done for us. #success #christian #livingatmybest
Our responsibility toward the world around us is meekness - restrained power. Because we have been made heirs and joint-heirs with Christ, laborers together with God, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a life of transformation and messengers of transformation, we have a responsibility to take advantage of every opportunity we are given. We use those opportunities to be a light and witness to our world, not for the sake of success and personal gain, but for the increase of the Kingdom of God.
As I finish, I know there is a lot that could be said on this subject. If you have stayed with me to this point, you get it. Let me finish with this, the Lord's words to Joshua. I pray you will take them to heart. Use them as a reference point when you are wondering if the Lord wants to increase your influence, income and success.
Joshua 1:9 - "This is my command--be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Live At Your Best! Live Inspired!