What is your definition of success? Is it Money ? Relationships? Position on the job or in the community?
A recent Gallup poll asked for a definition of success and the answers were placed in 12 categories. The number one answer was `good health’ according to 58% of those surveyed.
May I suggest that success is not a destination, but a journey? It’s not something we can always put out finger on , and say we have arrived. An ongoing, continual growth process toward maximizing our potential in life, and blessing others along the way!
Joshua 1:6-8 (New International Version)
6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be 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. 8 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."
Here are three points to embrace on your success journey-
1. Know your purpose in Life-
2. Grow to reach your maximum Potential-
3. Sow seeds that benefit others
1. Know your purpose in life -
We were planned for God’s pleasure, so your first purpose is to offer real worship. 'A lifestyle of enjoying God, loving Him, and giving ourselves to be used for His purposes.'
When you do this, everything you do becomes an act of worship.
C.S. Lewis - “In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”
We were formed for God’s family, so your second purpose is to enjoy real fellowship. 'Learning to love other people in God’s family.' The life God intends for you to enjoy is more than just believing, it is belonging.
1 John 3:14 CEV Romans 15:7 NLT
He made us to need each other. You cannot fulfill the second purpose on your own.
We were created to become like Christ, so your third purpose is to learn real discipleship. 'Becoming like Jesus is the way we feel, act, and think.' This is an on-going process called Spiritual Maturity.
We were shaped for serving God, so your fourth purpose is to practice real ministry. The way we serve God (Whom we can’t see) is by serving others(whom we have seen).
God wired us all to have a ministry. Your abilities were given to you not for self-fulfilling reasons, but to benefit others. 1Peter 4:10,11 NLT
We were made for a mission, so your fifth purpose is to live out real evangelism.
'Telling others about Him, helping them discover their purpose and preparing them for their eternal destiny.'
Live for His Glory, fulfilling the purposes He made you for. Everything else is just existing. Real Life begins by committing yourself completely to Jesus Christ.
2. Grow to reach your maximum potential -
To make this point a reality, please allow me to use an acronym of the word SUCCESS -
S - Seek God with renewed passion for His power and provision. Pray the prayer of Jabez - 1 Chron. 4:10 NIV “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” Also, pray the prayer of Jesus in Matthew 6:9 KJV“our Father..”
U- Understand what the will of the Lord is. Eph. 5:15-17 AMP “look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise-sensible, intelligent people…” God left nothing to chance. He had men write down His will---His word is His will! 1 Peter 1:19-21 NIV 2 Tim. 3:16,17 NIV
C- Cultivate Inner Strength.
Time in the private place produces power in the public place! Luke 19:10 KJV Eph. 6:10 NIV
Fasting should always accompany prayer. Spoken of more than baptism in the Bible (77 to 75), few disciplines go against our flesh and the mainstream of our culture as this one. We live in a super-size world, where immediate gratification of our appetites is taught and modeled as normative. When you fast according to the scripture however, God promises to bless you just as surely as when you obey any command in the Word.
Fasting should always be done for a purpose, otherwise it becomes a weight-loss plan. None of the purposes is to earn God’s favor. We cannot use fasting as a way to impress God and earn His acceptance. We must come to Him through repentance and faith for fasting to have any eternal merit.
Here are 10 Purpose for Fasting from the scriptures:
1. To strengthen prayer.
2. Seek God’s guidance
3. Express grief.
4. Seek Deliverance or protection.
5. To express repentance and a return to God.
6. Humble self before God.
7. Express concern for the work of God.
8. Express love and worship to God.
9. Overcome temptation and dedicate self to God.
10. Minister to the needs of others.
C-Confess New Creation Realities.
Prov. 18:21 “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.’
Prov. 12:18, 19
Our confession must line up with God’s Word- To confess means “To agree with..”
E- Effect positive changes through a renewed mind.
Romans 12:1,2 NIV We will never enter the success zone until we learn to renew our minds by His Word. Phil 4:7,8 KJV
S- See the finish line.
World class race car drivers visualize the finish line. Golfers see the line the ball must travel when they putt. Basketball players see the ball go over the rim before they shoot. We need to see our situation from God’s perspective… He is the God who calls things which are not as though they were… We are more than conquerors…On the winning team…not grasshoppers, but grape tasters and giant-killers.
S- Search for ways to develop dynamic Faith.
Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” In prayer, confess His majesty and greatness over your life and circumstances. Take the limits off of God and don’t limit the Holy One of Israel!
Growth is not a one time event, but rather a lifelong process. Success in life is not a destination, but a journey. So keep learning along the way. We never outgrow our need to learn.
3. Sow seeds that benefit others -
Karl Menninger, the psychiatrist once said, “generous people are rarely mentally ill people.” And I will add they are rarely negative people. When you focus your time and energy on what you can give to others rather than what they can get from them, the better your attitude will be.
Giving is the highest level of living!
Most unsuccessful people don’t understand this concept. They believe that how much people give and their attitude about giving are based on how much they have, and that’s just not true. Some tremendous givers have very little. They have discovered the words of Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
Cullen Hightower said, “A true measure of your worth includes all the benefits others have gained from your success.”
Jesus Christ was the example of servant hood as seen in this passage-
Phil. 2:5-8 NLT
“ You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
He came to `get under’ as many people as possible and lift them up! He didn’t come to those who are well, but those who needed a physician…
He said, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save those who are lost.” Consider these words…“I’ve not come to be ministered to, but to minister and give my life a ransom for many!” “I am among you as one who serves…“ He came to serve us, by fulfilling God’s law, and dying a sinless death to redeem us from the sin code!
When sowing into others, remind yourself of these truths…
1. Everyone wants to feel worthwhile- When a person doesn’t feel good about themselves they will never believe they are successful, no matter what they accomplish, but a person who feels worthwhile is ripe for success.
2. Everyone needs and responds to encouragement- If you desire to raise people up, become one of their strongest supporters. People can tell if you believe in them or not.
3. People are naturally motivated. They often just need someone to remove the pain, stress, or frustration that has slowed them down, so that they can `motivate’ themselves again.