Word of the Week: Success


A number of years ago Harvard University asked its graduating 1100 Seniors “Is success a destination or a journey?”

930 said it was a destination. They thought it was something you could measure when you had enough money, or achieved a certain fame or position.

What is success? How would you define it? Measure it? Quantify it?

Here are some various definitions for success.

“Success is not what you have–it’s what you are!”

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles one has overcome while trying to succeed.” –Booker T. Washington

“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the ability to continue that counts” –Winston Churchhill

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs, but how high he bounces when he hits the ground” –General George S. Patton.

Success is… knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.” John C. Maxwell

Our word of the week is “success.” Yes, “success” is a Bible word!

Genesis says that “the Lord was with (Joseph) and gave him success in everything he did.” (Gen. 39:3-4)

Abraham’s servant prayed, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.” (Gen 24:12)

Samuel writes about David as a young man who “In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.” (1 Sam. 18:13-15)

The Psalmist prayed, “O Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success. (Ps. 118:25)

When Nehemiah pursued his passion for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem He answered his critics by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success.”  (Neh 2:20)

However, God looks at success differently than man does. Success is not defined by money, power, position or prestige. Real success has a spiritual focus, is wrapped up in godly motives, and pursues a divine purpose.

When Moses died and Joshua was chosen to lead Israel into the promised land, God appeared to Him with these encouraging words:

Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:6-9)

What a great formula for success!

(1) Be strong in the Lord. Rely on His strength not yours!

(2) Develop the courage of your convictions. The courage to face the foe. The courage to do what is right.

(3) Obey God. Follow his commandments.

(4) Stay focused. Don’t waver. Don’t get off the path. Keep your eyes on the goal.

(5) Mediate on His Word. Never stray from its counsel. Its guidance. Its values.

Additionally the Lord admonishes us not to allow fear or discouragement to distract us from the goal. He will be with us!

When we do these five things God will prosper us and we will have good success! Maybe not success as the world defines it. But we will have spiritual success. Divine success. Eternal success.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

1 Comment

Filed under Success, Word of the Week

One response to “Word of the Week: Success

  1. Pingback: Friday’s List to Live By #9 | ThePreachersWord

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