When God Defines Your Success

One of the greatest needs of mankind is to achieve. Whether it is material wealth, fame, peace, prosperity or a sense of self, we all feel the need inside to accomplish something that is of some worth to us and even to others. We plan and prepare to accomplish our goals from the moment we step out of high school or college to the time we reach retirement. And each time we achieve a goal, we feel successful and accomplished, ready to tackle the next one.

But what if, somewhere along our highway of goals, we encounter a divine roadblock? Often times this roadblock comes without warning and appears every so often in our journey. When God steps into our lives and begins to steer us along His path, do we readily follow? When God begins to reveal to us His master plan for our lives, do we willingly submit or do we insist on our own plans?

What happens when we let God define our success?

I have had to struggle with these questions for many years. Society has conditioned my mind into believing that real success is all about getting the best education, the highest grades, the most prestigious job, and all the perks that come with it, including a hefty savings account and insurance. While these are all good, they are not what define real success in God’s eyes.

To be sure, I looked into God’s blueprint for success – the Bible – and found only 3 passages (there may be more that I might have overlooked) that use the word “successful”. They are Joshua 1:7, 2 Kings 18:7 and 2 Chronicles 20:20. All three passages speak of God’s servants who obeyed His commands and had faith in Him. These were God’s prerequisites for success! And what is success? “And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook.” (2 Kings 18:7 – first part; italics mine)

Knowing for sure that God does not define my success the way I used to and other people do gives me much relief and comfort. To have the Lord with me in all my undertakings already ensures my success! To have Jesus Christ in my life, to know Him, obey Him and trust in Him makes me a successful person. To live a life of active faith despite the struggles and heartaches that befall me along the way pleases the Almighty (Heb. 11:6). Can there be anything more rewarding in this life than pleasing our God? Can we be any more successful?

God gives us all the opportunity to be successful in this life. But we also need to realize that we cannot and should not hold on to our own plans for success as if our lives depended on them. God knows our hearts and if we willingly surrender all our goals and plans for our lives to Him, He will guide our every step so that His eternal goals and plans are accomplished in us. Now that is real success!

In the words of King David, “Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.” (Ps. 40:5)


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