Godís instructions to Joshua: ďBe strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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."1
A hundred years ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson noted three qualities he deemed marks of true success: the ability to discern and appreciate beauty, the ability to see the best in others, and a commitment to leaving the world a better place.Ē2
Emerson didnít say that success is in becoming a powerful politician, a wealthy business man or woman, a popular movie star, sportsman/woman, an outstanding speakeróor even the pastor or leader of a mega church. Nor did he say it had anything to do with physical beauty or material possessions. This is not to say that there is anything wrong, in and of themselves, with any or all of the above, but if this is our definition or measure of success, it has fallen far short of success in the eyes of God.
Godís measure of success is: first of all, in studying and meditating on His Word, the Bible, so we know what it teaches; and second, in obeying all of Godís laws and living in harmony with His will. As God promised Joshua and the people of ancient Israel, if they did this they would become prosperous and successful. Keep in mind, too, being a prosperous person has little if anything to do with material prosperity, but rather it has to do with knowing and obeying Godís Word and living in harmony with his will. Also, having the qualities Emerson described above would also make one very prosperous.
And as another has said, "Judge your success not only by what you've become, but by what others have become because of you."
Suggested prayer: ďDear God, please open the eyes of my understanding so that I will fully grasp the meaning and impact of all Your laws and principles for successful and prosperous living and the good sense to obey and live in harmony with all of these. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesusís name, amen.Ē
1. Joshua 1:7-8 (NIV).
2. R. Robert Cueni, Sermons on the Gospel
Readings, Series I, Cycle C, CSS Publishing Company.