If you go to the dictionary you will notice the definition of success has two meanings – to achieve a desired outcome, and/or to reach a goal one has set for oneself. However, success can mean many things to many people. It depends upon what you would like to achieve. You will also note that these definitions focus on our own efforts to get what we want. However, for Christians the Bible has a whole different perspective of success. Worldly success can be fleeting and hollow, but God wants us to have the true and lasting success that only comes from Him.
Throughout my life I have met individuals who chase after money at all costs only to lose it all. Almost every day there is news of a famous movie star who committed suicide, or a fabulously wealthy entertainer who is miserable and lonely. What these individuals don’t realize is that true success comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Grace-based prosperity is rooted in our willingness to depend on His abilities, not ours.
Our heavenly Father wants us to succeed in every area of our lives. Prosperity is not found only in our financial situations. God’s will for us, includes a healthy body and mind, a tranquil, born-again spirit, a happy marriage, and a peaceful family life (3 John 1:2).
The definition of grace is God’s unmerited, undeserved, and unearned favor, and our faith in it gives us access to it. When we truly believe in our hearts that God wants this kind of grace-based prosperity for us, it will eventually come to pass. Our present circumstances don’t matter at all when we let God take charge of our lives.
Remember the Bible story about Joseph? His brothers sold him into slavery but because of God’s favor Joseph became highly successful (Genesis 39:1-3).
Now considering everything Joseph went through, he could have become very bitter. Joseph could have strived to change his circumstances through his own efforts. But instead, he relied on the Lord. Because of this decision, God caused him to prosper in everything. Eventually, Joseph became second only to Egypt’s Pharaoh in power. Pharaoh trusted him because Joseph was honest, wise, had a good work ethic and a godly character (Genesis 39:4-6).
God had given Joseph wisdom to avoid evil deeds and do the right thing. Joseph demonstrated his relationship with God through his actions. Even when others lied about him and he was wrongly accused of adultery, Joseph obeyed God’s prompting (Genesis 39:7-12). And, just like Joseph, we can trust God to make everything work out, even when things appear to go terribly wrong in our everyday lives (Romans 8:28).
When we’re born again, God comes to dwell inside of us and guide us to make the right decisions in life. When we meditate on His Word and seek His will for our lives, we begin to change. People recognize Jesus when they look at us. In everything we do, God will direct our steps toward prosperity and success. And when we start experiencing it, we can remember that it’s not about what we have, but Who is in us.
God knows we need the basics: food, clothing, and shelter. And when we seek Him, God will keep His promises and those things will come (Matthew 6:33). When we put Him first, we keep a proper perspective on all the things we can accumulate and achieve. (Romans 14:17).