“If you develop the habits of success, you will make success a habit.”
Today’s fortune cookie sounds like it came from a best-selling self-help book. I am a big fan of building positive habits in life, habits that benefit my well-being physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. I have seen that good habits brings rewards.
I still remember when I was in college, one of my professors wanted us to ask people the definition of success. The question surely points to what a person values in life—what matters most. The Bible tells us that if we follow God, if we take the path less traveled, that we will succeed in everything. This sounds crazy. Now hear me out—this is not prosperity gospel.
Pay attention here—you follow God, and you slowly come to realize God’s plans for your life and your perspective changes. The success is different; your definition of success changes. It no longer comes down to the car you drive and the money in the bank; you want to live for Jesus and glorify God. Through the Spirit’s leading and your local church, you begin to develop habits of a follower of Jesus. You pray, you serve, you study the Bible, you worship, you tithe, you hear the Word preached, etc. As you grow in your relationship with God, as you draw near to Him, the fruit appears. Good things do happen, just as you also deal with struggles to strengthen your faith. Success becomes more about living in the presence of God, and your purpose you live out for His glory. This is the true success, and this brings true satisfaction to the child of God.
“Fulfill your duty to the LORD your God. Obey his directions, laws, commands, rules, and written instructions as they are recorded in Moses’ Teachings. Then you’ll succeed in everything you do wherever you may go.” – 1 Kings 2:3 [GW]
If you want to grow strong, you have to put forth effort. Getting stronger muscles requires lifting weights and strength training. You do not one day just wake up and say, “Be strong.” When it comes to life with Jesus, our faith walk requires a work out too.
“Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him” (Colossians 2:6 NIV). As you continue to follow Jesus, walking in faith even when you cannot see ahead, your roots will grow deep. Your life will start being built on Him. “Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Today, do a strength check. Have you been working out your faith muscles or are you resting in the comfort zone? Are you walking with Jesus or have you been idling? If someone would check, would your roots be deep or could you be yanked out of the ground by a small breeze?
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6-7 [NLT]
We talk often about God being faithful but what about us? How can we be faithful to God? I know that God has always been and will always be faithful. I also know that I have not always been faithful. I fail Him daily.
Stop Hesitating. Move forward to what God has promised. Don’t stand on the verge. Embrace God’s plan for you. James 1:6 speaks about those who are double-minded, who are “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (NIV).
Start Acting. Bury yourself in the Word. Read it. Study it. Study it alone and join a group. Remember the Armor of God? The Word is the only offensive weapon. Take an offense. Pray. Pray continually. Helplessly. Shamelessly. Listen intentionally.
Stand Firm. It is easier to fight than to stand. Remember, “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm” (Ephesians 6:13 NLT).
“Then they answered Joshua, ‘Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.’” – Joshua 1:16
When we say “whatever” and “wherever” to God, we are letting go of the reigns, agreeing that we are not in control. We are saying we will go wherever God points and we will do whatever God commands. Too often, when we agree to go wherever and do whatever, we like to keep it on our terms. We like to make loopholes or exceptions. If we do not make a way out, we still manage to fail again and again. To say “whatever” and “wherever” to God is a daily statement—a daily response with words and action.
When the Israelites said “whatever” and “wherever,” it did not stay that way for long. They messed up. We mess up too. But do not let that get in the way of following God and being in a relationship with Him. His grace is enough to carry us through. Our sin nature will corrupt our whatevers and wherevers from time to time, but He has already forgiven us and simply wants us to continue to grow closer to Him, to spiritually mature. Where are you at in life? Are you saying “whatever”? Are you saying “wherever”? What is holding you back? Today, take steps to get closer to God. Look to see what is holding you back. Pray for Him to open your eyes.