March 15, 2008

Are You Planning For Success?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael Wright @ 8:55 am

Recently, we had a special series of services at our church with evangelist Rollin Mitchell. Rev. Mitchell is a very good preacher/speaker/story teller. His messages are very practical and something that anyone who desires to have an understanding can grasp. You can find 10 of his messages on my podcast site, One of the messages that was especially good is called “Children of the World are Wiser.” In this message, Rev. Mitchell talks about the importance of us as Christians striving for success and not just striving for it, but planning for it as well.

Success is something that I’ve been praying about during the last several months. I’ve been asking God to help me to be successful in all of the various roles He has called me to fulfill. These roles include husband, father, employee, song-leader, son, son-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, Bible study facilitator, etc.! You see, all of us are living out different roles every day. Are we planning to be successful in those roles, or are we just fluttering through life like a butterfly? I believe God has called us to strive for success – and I believe He wants to make us successful!

Maybe you think that success and humility do not co-exist in the life of a Christian. Well, I want to challenge your thinking a little bit with what the Bible says about success. One of the great things about the Bible is that it is applicable to our everyday life. The Bible has much to say about success and being successful at what we do. Consider these passages of scripture, all taken from the HCSB:

“LORD, God of my master Abraham,” he prayed, “grant me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham” (Genesis 24:12).

“Today when I came to the spring, I prayed: LORD, God of my master Abraham, if only You will make my journey successful!” (Genesis 24:42).

“The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, serving in the household of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made everything he did successful” (Genesis 39:2-3).

“The warden did not bother with anything under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him, and the LORD made everything that he did successful” (Genesis 39:23).

“Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do” (Joshua 1:7-8).

“David marched out with the army, and was successful in everything Saul sent him to do. Saul put him in command of the soldiers, which pleased all the people and Saul’s servants as well” (1 Samuel 18:5).

“Therefore, Saul reassigned David and made him commander over 1,000 men. David led the troops and continued to be successful in all his activities because the LORD was with him. When Saul observed that David was very successful, he dreaded him” (1 Samuel 18:13-14).

“Every time the Philistine commanders came out to fight, David was more successful than all of Saul’s officers. So his name became very famous” (1 Samuel 18:30).

“Be strong and brave, and keep your obligation to the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statutes, commandments, judgments, and testimonies. This is written in the law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn” (1 Kings 2:2b-3).

“He sought God throughout the lifetime of Zechariah, the teacher of the fear of God. During the time that he sought the LORD, God gave him success” (2 Chronicles 26:5).

“Please, Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and to that of Your servants who delight to revere Your name. Give Your servant success today, and have compassion on him in the presence of this man” (Nehemiah 1:11).

“LORD, save us! LORD, please grant us success!” (Psalms 118:25).

“He stores up success for the upright; He is a shield for those who live with integrity” (Proverbs 2:7).

“The one who understands a matter finds success, and the one who trusts in the LORD will be happy” (Proverbs 16:20).

“The one who acquires good sense loves himself; one who safeguards understanding finds success” (Proverbs 19:8).

“If the axe is dull, and one does not sharpen its edge, then one must exert more strength; however, the advantage of wisdom is that it brings success” (Ecclesiastes 10:10).

One of the reasons that I believe many Christian organizations have grown large through the years is because they have had leaders who planned for success. I believe God wants to help His followers become successful – but His followers have to want success
and I believe plan for success in order to succeed. It is easy for us in our secular roles to strive for success and be successful. Whether it is farming, computer programming, auto mechanics, or being a school teacher, we generally think success is fine and a much needed accomplishment. But, what about the things of God and being a Christian influence on others? In these areas, are we as interested in being successful as we are in our career? May the Lord help us as Christians to focus some of our “success energy” on the things that will last for all of eternity!

Part of planning for success includes making a full surrender to our Lord and Savior. Several of the above quoted scriptures reference the conditions for God granting success. These include keeping His statutes, praying and seeking after God, and trusting in God. We can go overboard on the aspect of trying to be successful – so much so that we do things without even having God’s approval or blessing. However, if God has called you to do something (and everyone is on earth for a purpose), then I believe you have the responsibility of asking God to make you successful and planning for success!


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