Barnes and Noble started emailing me coupons and advertisements over a year ago. I usually just delete them, but this last time I decided to check out their offering. As usual I was not interested but it spurred a thought – how many books do they have about success. Well I searched ‘success’ on their site and over 30,000 items came up. People are really interested in being successful and succeeding in all areas of life. What about you? Do you want to be successful?
Webster’s dictionary defines success as a favorable outcome. A secondary meaning is to gain wealth, fame, or rank. It is this meaning that most people use when speaking about success. In our culture, if you have gained wealth and rank then you are successful.
The Bible only uses the word success one time. The Lord was speaking to Joshua after the death of Moses. He was going to lead them into the promised land of Canaan. God commanded Joshua, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8) Success as defined by God is one who lives life depending on Him and trusting in His Word. It is exactly the opposite of the world’s definition, which emphasizes human potential and accomplishment apart from God.
True success is rooted in God and His word. For “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (II Tim 3:16,17) If you desire success do not be conformed to the world’s way of thinking. Look to God and His word. All the things that the world defines as success will one day be destroyed, “… but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (I John 2:17)