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Summary: Being a spiritual success is a way of life, not just the achievement of a one-time ministry goal.

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SUCCESS! ALL OF US NOT ONLY WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL, BUT WANT TO HAVE SUCCESS IN ALL THAT WE DO. WE WANT SUCCESS NOT ONLY FOR OURSELVES, BUT WE WILL DO ANYTHING IN OUR POWER TO HELP OUR CHILDREN BE SUCCESSFUL TOO.

IT IS GREAT TO FIND SUCCESS, TO WIN, THRIVE AND HAVE A PROFITABLE CAREER, BUSINESS OR HOBBY. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SUCCEEDING AND MAKING A LUCRATIVE LIFESTYLE OUT OF OUR ENDEAVORS.

BUT, HAVE YOU EVER STOPPED TO THINK THAT GOD WANTS YOU TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE? GOD WANTS YOU TO SUCCEED IN YOUR MINISTRY, YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE, AND WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.

JEREMIAH 29:11, GOD TELLS US, “FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU,” SAYS THE LORD. “THEY ARE PLANS FOR GOOD AND NOT FOR DISASTER, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE.”

OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WANTS US TO SUCCEED AND HAVE A SUCCESSFUL LIFE. ALTHOUGH WE WILL NOT BE IMMUNE TO CONFLICT, CONFRONTATION, CHALLENGES, AND COMPLICATIONS, WE CAN STILL STRIVE FOR SUCCESS IN ALL THAT WE DO.

BUT, BEFORE I CAN GO ON, I MUST TELL YOU ABOUT A LITTLE DISCLAIMER WITH SPIRITUAL SUCCESS: IT’S NOT TO BE ASSUMED OR EXPECTED “JUST BECAUSE” YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN.

SUCCESS DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN! IT IS PLANNED, WORKED, AND CONFORMED THROUGH GOD’S WILL BY LIVING OUR LIVES IN FAITH, PRAYER, AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL AND PURPOSE.

THERE ARE NO MAGICAL FORMULAS, NO BY-PASSES OR QUICK-FIXES TO GET AROUND THE PROCESS GOD HAS LAID-OUT FOR US TO FOLLOW. IF YOU FOLLOW AFTER GOD, THROUGH JESUS, AND BY THE HOLY SPIRIT’S GUIDANCE, YOU WILL NOT ONLY DRAMATICALLY REDUCE YOUR POTENTIAL FOR FAILURE, BUT ENHANCE YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCESS IN YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE.

THAT IS WHY I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT THE “SUCCESS” I TALK ABOUT TODAY IS SPIRITUAL SUCCESS. TRUE SUCCESS FOR THE CHRISTIAN COMES THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT’S POWER, NOT HUMAN EFFORT.

WHATEVER IS DONE IN OUR OWN POWER IS PROFOUNDLY UNSUCCESSFUL IN ETERNAL TERMS. WHEN INSTRUCTING THE PROPHET ZECHARIAH ABOUT THE NATURE OF TRUE SUCCESS, GOD SAID IN ZECHARIAH 4:6, “’NOT BY MIGHT NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT,’ SAYS THE LORD OF HOSTS.”

JESUS RE-EMPHASIZED THIS BY SAYING IN ACTS 1:8, “BUT YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS COME UPON YOU.” IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

THE INFLUENCE, EFFECTIVENESS AND SUCCESS OF THE FIRST-CENTURY CHURCH IS THE SAME FOR THE 21ST CENTURY CHURCH: SUCCESS IS NOT MAGICAL, NUMERICAL, MANAGERIAL, OR PERSONAL; ITS SUCCESS WAS SPIRITUAL – HOLY SPIRITUAL.

NOTHING OF ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH US UNLESS IT COMES THROUGH GOD’S SPIRIT. I’LL SAY IT AGAIN: “ANY SUCCESS YOU OR I HAVE ON OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTED CHRIST LIVING THROUGH US AND THE HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWERING US.”

THE BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF SUCCESS COMES FROM THE HEBREW WORD “SAKAL” WHICH MEANS ‘TO BE PRUDENT,” “TO WISELY UNDERSTAND,” OR “TO PROSPER.” AS YOU CAN SEE, BIBLICAL SUCCESS IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST “WINNING” OR “COMING IN FIRST” OR REACHING A SPECIFIC GOAL.

SPIRITUAL SUCCESS, IN BIBLICAL TERMS, HAS AS MUCH TO DO WITH BEHAVING WISELY, LIVING OBEDIENTLY AND HOLY AS IT DOES WITH MATERIAL PROSPERITY. SUCCESS, ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE’S DEFINITION, IS A WAY OF LIFE, NOT JUST THE ATTAINMENT OF A ONE-TIME GOAL.


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