Excerpt From The Book, Keys To A Revolutionary Life
Somebody once said that the dictionary is the only time when success comes before work. People believe that prosperity comes to those who work…hard. They also cling to the old-fashioned work habit: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
Many Christians believe that only those who TRY gain success. We honor the ones who climb the ladder of success with their own two hands. Clearly, we act as if prosperity rests solely upon our shoulders. When we fail to achieve what we want, we chart a plan to get it. We believe that if we try hard enough, all good things will come to us.
I have read many books on success and how to achieve it. I have attended seminars to learn the latest systems for success. They recounted step-by-step how to accomplish it. Further, lest I should not believe it, they told story after story about those who attained it by following their plans.
If I would simply follow their formulas, I thought, I could achieve success. So, I did. Every day I read books on positive thinking. I made a chart to help me adopt my new lifestyle. I listed those qualities the “masters” said I needed and labored hard to achieve them.
As I practiced, I discovered that they worked. I set new sales records for my district. Soon, my employer saw my accomplishments and gave me awards for distinction. In less than 18 months in a prominent sales company, I managed its #1 Sales Region. I directed 5 district managers and 40 territory salesmen.
However, I will never forget one spring night in 1971. I had worked that day with one of my territory salesmen in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. After I finished supper, I called my wife on the phone from my motel room. She recounted to me the latest steps of growth of our two young daughters.
As we conversed, God recalled to me Mark 8:36: “For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Those words rushed through my mind. I did not need salvation that night. I had satisfied that question as a boy. I had traded the priority of God in my life and His plan for the quality of family life for worldly success.
The success gurus I copied failed to disclose that sad consequence. They spoke only in terms of fame and fortune. Money and well being came to those who tried, they said. Riches and position oiled the wheels of my life.
In my haste, I had forgotten that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. I had the world by the tail on a downhill haul. However, I had neglected God, my wife, and my daughters in the process. Our lives together existed only on weekends.
My three-year-old daughter told a friend that her daddy lived at the airport. My wife compared our lives together as a circus ride. Weekends became a flurry of activity followed by a week of recovery from its dizziness.
Work filled my time; family and God fit in when possible. By the world’s criteria, I had prosperity and success. Although I had not yet arrived at 30 years of age, I had reached a position many do not gain in a lifetime. I earned more money in annual income than I ever dreamed I would earn.
As a result, I nearly lost that which money cannot buy. That spring night in Ft. Wayne I set in motion the steps that led to my resignation from my job. I put Christ and His kingdom first as He said, followed by family.
In faith, I started my own business. From then on, I expected life to become a bed of roses. It did not. I encountered serious problems that I had not faced previously. I struggled with my new work.
However, my understanding of Christ and my family flourished. I experienced a sense of well being not dependent on possessions or position. I discovered that the Bible taught a different slant on success.
God’s Success Relies Upon God’s Power
The prosperity of God results solely from His power working in you by the Holy Spirit. Scripture gives us many examples of this truth. You cannot explain the Israelites crossing of the Red Sea on dry sand but by God’s power. (1)
Nor can you explain the Israelites’ jubilation at Jericho in any other vein. They had marched around Jericho once a day for six days. On the seventh day, they marched around it seven times. When they circled the city the seventh time, Joshua commanded the pilgrims to shout, because God had given them the city. (2)
As they roared, the walls of Jericho fell to the ground. God had given them these orders, and they obeyed them entirely. Victory came to Israel that day through the power of God.
Daniel saw the evidence of God’s power in his life. Daniel experienced the prosperity of God regardless of his circumstances. God’s power brought success to Daniel.
God’s Power Can Bring Privilege With Man.
God gave him privilege with man. He had just arrived in Babylon as a helpless, homeless captive from Jerusalem. He had fallen into the hands of the enemy. They meant it for evil, but God turned it for good.
Daniel’s superior respected him and granted him permission to eat a diet that harmonized with God’s law rather than the king’s diet. (3) As a result, Daniel delighted in the blessing of God’s prosperity.
Not everyone receives applause according to his or her character. Often, reputation flees without cause. Sometimes our self-confidence only lies in our dreams. God does not always honor our dreams. The profit we think we make for ourselves actually comes from God. Favor comes from God. His Spirit prospers us with friend and foe.
God’s Power Can Produce Proficiency.
God made Daniel proficient beyond his training and education. At the end of his training, Daniel went to the king for an interview. When the king had completed his interrogation of Daniel, he pronounced him ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers in the whole realm. Daniel had expertise beyond the ordinary, which came from God. (4)
Often, we credit our training and experience for our accomplishments in life. We forget that the Father gives us all that we have. He separates one above another. He makes one to differ from another. (5)
God’s success depends upon Christ to work the unexplainable in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will, as we make our lives available to Him.
God’s Power Can Put People in Prominent Positions.
God raised Daniel to prominent positions. Neither chance nor opportunity played a role in it. God elevated him. King Nebuchadnezzar made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon. He also elevated him to chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel sat in the counsel chambers of the king.
When Nebuchadnezzar died, his son, Belshazzar, became ruler. During his reign, Daniel became third in command in the kingdom. Darius succeeded Belshazzar and Cyrus the Persian succeeded Darius. In both kingdoms, Daniel rose in power. They set him over the whole realm.
In every instance, God empowered Daniel to interpret dreams and perform deeds beyond the scope of human abilities. As a result, Daniel ascended in power.
Prestige often brings conceit. We come to believe that we have earned it or deserve it. God’s success sometimes includes acclaim and acknowledgment. Nevertheless, we must remember that if it comes, it comes only from God.
God’s Power Brings Protection.
God granted protection for Daniel. He faced difficulties that only the power of God could overcome.
- In the pressures of life
In the palace, God protected him from the pressures of his position. As second in command to the king, he governed the nation. Daniel faced daily decisions affecting the king and the kingdom. He resolved problems and settled disputes. Yet, God enabled Daniel to govern without cause for blame
Those in leadership positions encounter unique pressures. Questions arise which need immediate answers. Problems often bring mystery and personnel management often creates factions. Planning for an unknown future confuses them.
If God places you in leadership, you, like Daniel, can find security in Him. His Spirit will counsel, comfort, and strengthen you.
- Against prejudice
In addition, Daniel suffered prejudice from those who worked for him. As native Babylonians, they thought they should have gotten his position. More than that, Daniel, an alien and a Hebrew, ruled over them. Their jealousy and competitive spirit drove them to find a cause that would get him removed.
When his enemies searched for an accusation against him, they found none. The eyes of envy looked in vain. By God’s power, Daniel overcame prejudice in the palace.
When our enemies assault us, we, too, can rest in the sovereign God who controls our lives and circumstances. (6)
- In the practice of Godly living
Daniel also met a test on the practice of his faith. His enemies found no fault in Daniel’s administration over the kingdom. They persuaded the king to cast into a lion’s den anyone who prayed to any god or man other than the king.
Even when tested, Daniel still worshipped the God of Israel, the True, and Living God. (7) He had discovered that God had never failed him. God deserved his worship. Daniel never bowed his knee to the gods of Babylon. He remained true to God and openly worshipped Him fearlessly.
When Daniel prayed at his appointed time, his enemies observed him and reported it to the king. As a result, Daniel’s enemies got him thrown into the den of lions. God closed the mouths of the lions. As a result, an entire kingdom trembled before God. Again, Daniel prospered
We, too, can trust God to deliver us from the evil lion, satan, pursuing us. (8) Satan preys upon believers through evil thoughts, temptations, and acts. As a fisherman lures his quarry to his bait, so satan tempts the Christian. We have security in Christ. (9)
What’s in it for me?
The prosperity of God results from His power in our lives. Those accomplishments gained by self-effort glorify only ourselves. As we allow Christ to function in our lives through the Holy Spirit, He gives us favor with friend and foe. His supernatural power invigorates our gifts and talents beyond their human levels.
Then, He places us in the position where He can best utilize them. His hand keeps us. Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 1:3 that through Christ’s divine power, He has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.
The success that God brings into our lives has no other explanation than that it came solely by the sovereign hand of God. God’s kind of success results only as we allow Christ through the Holy Spirit to unleash the power of God in us.
Biblical Law #3: God’s prosperity in our lives comes from the power of God
- Exodus 14.21-22
- Joshua 6.16
- Daniel 1.9
- Daniel 1.17-20
- 1 Corinthians 4.7
- 1 Corinthians 10.13
- Daniel 6.10
- 1 Peter 5.8; Matthew 6.13; John 17.15
- 1 Corinthians 10.13
© Thomas P Hill. Website: www.masterministries.org.