6. Remember Where Success Comes From
Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God…otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deuteronomy 11-14).
After all the miracles and provision Jehovah had given the Israelites, they fell into sin and worshipped gold instead of God. They didn’t heed His warnings and the prosperous lives they enjoyed for a time ended in captivity.
Solomon started out with sensitivity toward the Lord. With all the wealth he had, he still sought to make alliances with foreign nations by marrying women from these idol-worshipping lands. His wives turned him away from the Lord. Because he forsook those warnings, the kingdom was divided after his death (1 Kings 11:11).
Nebuchadnezzar found out that his reign was not his own. After the three Hebrews had come out of the fire, the king acknowledged the Providence who saved them. He praised the One he saw and was given dreams about the end times that Daniel interpreted. Yet only one year later, Nebuchadnezzar walked about the palace and declared that he had built the great Babylon.
This royal ruler transformed into a beast of the field for a season until God restored him. He then praised the Holy One again and acknowledged the supernatural Spirit before him.
Greed, lust for power, and worldly pleasures have turned scores of people away from the Lord from the beginning of time until now. God knows human nature and that must be why He warned the Israelites about the consequences of forgetting Him.
The rich young ruler who came to Jesus seeking the answers to eternal life left disappointed. It is evident through his reaction to Jesus’ words that though he implied a law-keeping history, his soul was turned toward his riches (Luke 18:18-23). Yet Zacchaeus was a wealthy man also. But when he encountered Christ, he immediately repented, and it was his own decision to give away part of what he had acquired through selfish means (Luke 10:1-10). Zacchaeus could be considered a flourishing man, while the young man who left Jesus could be considered a failure because of his heart’s condition.
The Ultimate Guide
A prosperous person is one that fulfills the will of the Father. Jesus told His followers that the key to abundant life was in seeking God, not possessions (Matthew 6:33). Once our affection is in the right place, He will meet our needs.
Bookstores abound with guides on how to plan our lives, but the only one that never fails is the Creator’s plan. The Bible is our guide in how to live the Lord’s way. When we rely on the source of our success, we can be fruitful, joyful, and peaceful.
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8 NIV)
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