Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. For this reason some people feel the need to boast and brag about what they have done. "Things" can be taken away in a moment and if that is your identity you are in trouble. People spend much time and effort pursuing things far interior to wisdom. They chase education, physical fitness, career plans, homes and other goals with much work and cost! All of these things added together are less valuable than wisdom. Society defines success as either what we are doing or what we are becoming. For Christians success can never be measured by money. There is nothing wrong with working hard and having nice things. We must remember to keep God as our top priority and recognize that all good things come from Him!
Why is wisdom so important? Wisdom brings riches, honor, pleasantness, peace, life, happiness. Proverbs 3: 16, "Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor." Proverbs 3: 17, "Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace." Proverbs 3: 13-18, "Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed." These are the rewards given to those who find wisdom!
Proverbs 4: 23, " Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." There are things that will destroy a heart for God. There are destructive forces that can cause damage. Most of us know sin hardens our heart and separates us from God. But other things can damage our heart also. Success can crowd our heart with our own accomplishments. Selfishness does not include needing others or God. Laziness can take away our lack of service for others. Worry can place unnecessary demands on the heart causing anxiety.
To be successful we must develop a heart for God much like David did. David defeated the giant Goliath. He led Saul's armies into battle with victories. He was so successful that people sang songs to him. David was successful and he acknowledged that it was because of the Lord. 1 Samuel 18: 14, "In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him." David was humble. He recognized grace and mercy of God. When things are going well do you pray as often? When you are enjoying good times do you recognize God as the source of those blessings?
While selfishness shrinks the heart, exalting God grows our heart. Psalm 34: 3, "Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together." One of the greatest things David did was the writing of much of the Psalms. They were probably written as he sat alone on the hillside tending his flock of sheet. Are you worshiping? Are we filling our thoughts on things that do not matter?
David wholeheartedly served his Master through easy times and difficult times. God could count on David. Acts 13: 36, "Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed." He completed his task and then he died. David was not lazy. Service brought life and energy to David's heart and to his devotion to God. Have you made yourself available to God?
Thankfully, the Bible does not cover up sin so we see it all. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband, Uriah. David was a great sinner but he was also a great repenter! 2 Samuel 12: 13, "Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the Lord.'
Nathan replied, 'The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.'" We must be sorry for our sins and turn away from them.
God shows us that we do not have to be perfect to have a heart for Him. Thankfully, we can have a horrible sin filled past and God can still use us. Psalm 51: 10, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Are you turning away from your sin?
David had a lot of stress in his life. Saul was out to kill him for years. He became the king of a nation with many problems. He had major family problems. But David trusted God. He wrote 2 Samuel 22: 1-4, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies." Are you holding on to things that you could trust God with?
David was successful. He used his talents to glorify God, to serve others and to further the Kingdom. When King David was dying, he told his son, Solomon, "Do what the Lord your God commands and follow his teachings. Obey everything written in the Law of Moses. Then you will be a success, no matter what you do or where you go." (1 Kings 2:3)
If you are a maturing Christian, using a large percentage of your talents, you are successful. Our only desire should be to hear God say, “Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Master.” What you are doing with what you've got? Who you are becoming? Are you a growing, maturing Christian?