Saturday, March 10, 2018

Planning Spiritual Success

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. (Joshua 1:8)

Spiritual success does not come from adopting worldly standards.  This is not saying that all worldly standards are bad but to be spiritually successful, we have to look to the one that sets the standard for spiritual success.  God is a God of order and e deals with specifics.  To begin, we must follow the patterns of God which are found in His word.

*         Have A Plan:

You will never achieve your purpose unless you have a plan to do so.  

And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.  Habakkuk 2:2

*         Implement The Plan:

Having a good plan is not enough to achieve your purpose in ministry. You must also implement the plan.  One test of good spiritual success is whether or not it results in the successful achievement of God's purposes and plans.  

*         Live A Holy Life:

You will only be spiritually successful if you live a holy life, meeting the qualifications as outlined by God. Sin guarantees failure. Holiness assures success.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

*         Seek Wisdom From God:

Human wisdom is not sufficient to make good decisions and lead a live pleasing to God. You must have wisdom from God to be a successful:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

*         Strive For Excellence:

Do not settle for "good enough".   Strive for excellence:

. . . Approve things that are excellent. (Philippians 1:10)

*        Do All For God's Glory:

If you do everything for God's glory instead of your own, you will be successful:

And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God. . .   (Colossians 3:17)

*         Seek First The Kingdom:

You will be successful if the Kingdom of God is your priority:

But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things (including success) shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

Kingdom priorities can be set through proper organization.   The account of the disciples being challenged with problems within the church and the way in which they handled it.  In particular:’

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.   Acts 6:4 

(See Acts 6:1-7  for the full account.)

*        Follow The Example:

Jesus is the example of the greatest spiritual leader. Jesus said:

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (John 13:15)

When you compare yourself to anything other than the example of Christ it is not good. Jacob compared Joseph to his brothers and set in motion events motivated by jealousy and hatred. The people of Israel compared themselves to other nations and adopted their wicked ways. Saul heard a comparison of himself and David and was poisoned by jealousy.

Comparison may be useful to stretch your vision and challenge you to fulfill your potential. But another person's achievements are not the standard for your life. Your success is not measured in relation to the performance of others. For this reason Peter's question to the Lord about John:   "Lord, what about this man", received the rebuke, "What is that to you? You follow me."

Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?   Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?  follow thou me. (John 21:21-22).

*        Decision, Discipline, Direction, Determination

Actually, success can be easily summarized in one statement:

Follow the example of Jesus in decision, discipline, direction, and determination.  Apostle Paul did this:

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air;  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (I Corinthians 9:24-27)

Apostle Paul made a decision. He wanted to be successful. He wanted to win the "race" of life. To do this, he realized he must be disciplined, which means to be temperate in all things. He had direction. He did not run or fight aimlessly. He was not uncertain about his purpose or plans. He was also determined to obtain, to be successful.

*        The Price of Success

Are you willing to pay the price of success? Here it is:

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:48)

The more successful you are, the more God requires of you. This is the price of success.

(Biblical Studies)


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