“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 NIV
God is always involved in your success; you alone are responsible for your failures.
My thoughts and comments today are about “success that matters.”
Discussing success requires a conversation of how you define and measure success. Should a person who prospers in business but fails terribly in marriage and family be described as successful? Would a man that devotes time and attention to his family but does not adequately provide for the family financially be thought a success?
Jesus told the story of a business man that was very prosperous. Financially, he had done well. He worked hard; he planned wisely; he valued what he had; he appreciated the fruit of his labor. Read Luke 12:16-21 NIV. Spiritually, he missed the point altogether. He had neither thought nor time for God. Just when he was ready to become even more prosperous, God pronounced him “foolish! . . this is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” Read God’s appraisal carefully. The mistake was not his wealth. His mistake was a wrong focus, “things for himself,” with little or no room for God. Success apart from God is too great a price to pay.
Everyone should want to succeed at all they do, nothing wrong with that. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” Colossians 3:23 NIV. Who would prefer failing, after all? Desiring success only for its rewards is an inadequate and misdirected motivation. And your definition of success is important. Real success has multiple components, but not single faceted. Though not an exhaustive list, I think success requires: a great idea, good opportunities, focused direction, sustained effort, ample sacrifice, sufficient time, much patience, others’ contribution, and most important of all, the Lord’s favor and blessing. Real success doesn’t just happen; God is its source. See Joshua 1:8 NIV/Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV.
I recall my father saying, “Many people can stand adversity better than prosperity.” Read Proverbs 16:18 NIV. There is a tragic figure among the Old Testament kings. See 2 Chronicles 26:1-21 NIV. He became King of Judah at sixteen and, “he did what was right in the sight of the Lord . . and as long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.” Uzziah was victorious over his enemies; his wealth and fame exceeded; his armies were feared; his accomplishments were many. “For he was greatly helped [by the Lord], until he was strong . . but after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to his God.” vs. 5/16. Uzziah presumed authority and rights God did not give him, and his epitaph was, “King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died.”
God made you to succeed, not fail. See 3 John 2 NKJV. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 NIV. Read that slowly and carefully. God is always involved in your success; you alone are responsible for your failures. I think the intent of the verse above is to rest “whatever you do” completely into God’s hands, trusting Him for the success He gives rather than the success you want. It is foolish to make plans with the naïve presumption that God will assume responsibility for them. When God’s plans are your plans, those plans have His blessing.
My prayer for you today is that you will prosper in all good and Godly ways.