Success is From the Lord - Prov. 21:31 - A horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.
Quote: Tim Salmon had a big day at the plate on Tuesday. The Anaheim Angels right fielder had a grand slam and drove in five runs in an 11-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox (August 6th, 2002). Tim told Sports Spectrum that a certain Scripture has given him inspiration:
"I came across a verse recently: Proverbs 21:31, ’Horses are made ready for battle, but the victory rests in the hands of the Lord.’ That verse is so true; it makes so much sense to me. I’ll do what I’ve always done, I’ll go out there and do everything I can to prepare for the game, and you know what?
I’m just doing what the Lord has called me to do. If success is meant to be, it’ll be there for me. If not, well, I’m just doing what the Lord has called me to do."
Quote: Abraham Lincoln said, "Without God I cannot succeed. With God I cannot fail."
1. God expects us to do all the preparation that is necessary to be victorious with our endeavors. Just as the soldier had to train his horse and provide nourishment to the animal so we need to provide mental and spiritual food for our minds and souls if we are expected to be prepared for the battles of life. General Macarthur said, "The most important lesson I learned at West Point is preparation is one key to victory." It is always better to be over prepared than under prepared for your tasks.
2. God wants us to obey Him regardless of whether of not victory seems likely. Many times we go to work not sure if we will be victorious in our endeavors, but we are to believe God will give the victory in His own way and in His own time. Joseph was not given visible victory until eighteen years had elapsed after his brothers sold him into slavery. Wait on the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Trust also in Him and He will bring things to pass. (Psa. 37:3-5)
3. God is the ultimate giver of success, victory and accomplishment. Even though we need to utilize the means available to us in fighting the good fight of faith, we are to rely on the Lord for victory, success and accomplishments. Do not deceive yourself in to thinking that by your own wisdom, hard work or skill that you earned success. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father in heaven. Too many people become proud when they give in to the false notion that success is as a result of their own doing. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling.
4. God enables us to achieve victory by His Spirit’s power. The Lord told Zerubbabel, "Not by power or by might but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts. This mountain will be removed." (Zech 4:6,7) Too many people are working in the power of the flesh not realizing that God gives the victory, success and fruitful achievements to them. Only the Lord is able to say, "I am at work in you both to will and do of my good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13,14) God can save without armies, but armies cannot achieve victory without His hand.
Quote: There are no victories at discount prices. General Dwight Eisenhower.
5. God works in us to give us fruit that is both seen in qualitative and quantitative measures. Jesus said, "Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself. It must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:4,5) We are totally dependent on the Lord for any lasting success. All human generated success does not stand the test of time.
6. God measures success by His standards not by human measures. What some people might think of as successful may actually be phony from God’s eyes. Solomon appeared successful to the masses with his wealth, his wives and his kingdom’s influence, but at the end of Solomon life he was a failure in the eyes of God. "As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been." (I Kings 11:4) Finish well in the eyes of the Lord.
7. There can be no success against God. The world, the flesh and the devil will constantly try to defeat us. Jesus said, "I came to give you life and to give it in all its abundance (More than enough, plentiful, and full) but the thief comes to steal, slaughter, kill and destroy." (John 10:10)
8. There can be no success without God. Even though some people may think they have wisdom, strength and money they are not successful if they are not seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Matt 6:33) Apart from Jesus Christ there is no success.
9. No one or no group or force can succeed against God’s power. The best minds, the best organizations or the most powerful armies in the world are nothing in comparison to God’s power. God told Jeremiah, "Let not a rich man boast in his riches, let not a mighty man boast in His might. But let Him who boasts, boast of this that he understands and knows me. For I am the God who exercises lovingkindness, righteous and justice on the earth. For I delight in these things, declares the Lord." (Jer. 9:23,24)
10. Regardless of the probability of human success, God’s plans are the only ones sure to succeed. Even if a cause is great, noble and rated highly in public opinion polls it is sure to fail without the blessings of the Lord. David wrote, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchmen keeps awake in vain." (Psa. 127:1,2) Do not assume that you can find a person who is a "sure-bet". Humans will ultimately let us down, but Jesus never fails!
Quote: Rudyard Kipling said, "Treat human success for what it is. Fleeting and deceitful.