Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
I can still remember the 3 Stooges episode where they landed this great paying job, at which time one of them belted out the word, success! Finally, after all of the disappointments and failures as entrepreneurs, they found success. Loads of money and names in neon, success. Sadly, that is not just the mentality of the 3 Stooges, but of our materialistic culture. If you “make a name for yourself”, and that results in lots of money with all of the benefits that how along with it, you are a success.
According to God, a person’s success is defined by their character and faithfulness to Him. You may find it interesting that in the KJV, our meditation verse is the only place in Scripture where we find the English word success, and the context isn’t even speaking about money or 401K’s. Why is it so important that we continually strive to think biblically? Because our natural tendency is to “fall into” economic caste systems within the body of Christ. Wasn’t that what James was addressing in chapter 2? My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? People tend to “fawn over” individuals who are successful or famous, both in and out of the church. NYTimes best selling authors pack out auditoriums and are keynote speakers at conferences. Left in the dust are those ” unsuccessful” but faithful saints who have fed God’s people in some small, rural areas or other countries for years on end, with little or nothing to show for it. Eloquence and large followings on social media are the measurement of success these days. The church is just as guilty with being “star struck” as Hollywood.
Yes, we should seek to excel at all that we do in the Name of Jesus. We should strive to bring Him glory and honor in any and every way possible. But let’s not embrace the financially successful “gospel” of Mo, Larry and Curly. Success by God is spelled by being faithful to Christ in small things. It is not always measured by volume of book sales, number of followers, or church members. What “impresses” Jesus is the financial sacrifice of a poor widow. Or the spiritual hunger of a woman who would love to sit at His feet and hear His Word. Or a woman who would pour out her most precious worldly treasure of oil on feet of The One she loved the most. Be faithful today, beloved. To hear the Word, “well done, you good and faithful servant” is the measure of success.