“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. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Success isn’t just reaching the final goal, but it’s also the steps you take toward that goal that count. Every bit of progress you make, regardless of how small or insignificant it may seem at the time, is an important part of the process. There is no one way of doing things, and there is no one mold that every individual has to fit into. What may work for some, may not work for others. When you understand that you are unique and have a unique purpose, you can focus on what is best for you without comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to others is one of the fastest ways to lose focus and get off track. Society has not been shy about giving us its viewpoint on what success is, and it definitely has not been shy about making sure that viewpoint reaches the eyes and ears of every single human soul that is willing to watch and listen.
I have heard many successful entrepreneurs say that we should never be afraid to question what it is that is being suggested to us, because we actually do have a choice in the matter. We can choose what we will do with our lives. We do have the right to question the things we are told to do and a right to “break from the norm” and choose an alternate route. True success is just simply doing what God, not society, has called you to do. Psalm 37:23-24 (NIV) says, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He promised to make our steps firm. That is a promise that society can never make to us.
As I continued to think about success, Joshua came to my mind. In the book of Joshua, chapter one, we read about Moses dying and Joshua then being installed as the leader. Joshua’s task was to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River and into the land the Lord promised to give them. The Lord gave Joshua some very important instructions about being successful in his new leadership role.
He told him to…
- Be Strong and Courageous
- Obey the Word of God
- Meditate on the Word of God Day and Night
- Do Not Be Discouraged
- Remember God is With You Wherever You Go
God told Joshua that if he does these things he would be prosperous and successful. Based on the instructions God gave Joshua, we can reach the conclusion that fear, disobedience to God, a lack of spending time in the Word of God and discouragement are all pitfalls that can keep us from being successful and taking hold of the blessings that God wants to give us. There are times in life that we may even question the things God is asking us to do because of doubt and fear, but God is always patient with us as we get to know Him better and learn to be obedient to Him. I’m learning more and more each day that the wisdom of God can handle our questions and that the love of God can surpass our doubts and fears.
By the way, Joshua and the Israelites did successfully cross the Jordan River. When they crossed, they set up twelve stones to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. They put the stones in place so that when future generations of children question what the stones mean, they could share with them the story of how God allowed them to cross the river on dry ground, just as He had done for Moses when He split the Red Sea. The stones would also serve as a reminder to all the nations of the Earth, that the Lord’s hand is powerful (Joshua 4:21-24).
Don’t be afraid to question the ideas of success that are being presented to you by society, after all it’s your life and you only get one chance to live it. Like Joshua, allow God’s power to work in you and through you so that you too will leave evidence of His power to future generations.
As we aim for success help us to discern right from wrong and produce fruit that will make a difference, not only now in the present, but also in the future. May the works we do leave evidence of Your love and Your power for generations to come.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.