Are you striving for success and significance in your career? Are you failing in your efforts to become a superstar but can’t quite figure out what to do differently? Striving for career success through hard work and determination is a normal process for most people, including Christians. Quite often this method yields varying degrees of success; however, the price that is paid by many high achievers is often painful and unforgiving as they suffer from broken marriages, estranged families, financial chaos, sickness, disease, and high levels of stress. Worst of all, in the midst of pursuing success with its demand of long hours and strenuous days, high achievers often spend little or no time pursing a personal relationship with the Lord and nurturing their spirits through daily Bible study and prayer.
This principle of success through hard work was taught to many of us in our formative years as we engaged in competitive sports, debate teams, try-outs and auditions. Through these activities, we learned that hard work, discipline, and sacrifice were the only means to achieve the ultimate goal of success and that once achieved, we could expect happiness, fame, fortune, and an all around “good life.” As is the case with most of the world’s way of doing things versus the kingdom of God’s way, the successful life of a Christian hinges on very different criteria. It depends on one thing and one thing only: We must BELIEVE! Some might ask, “Believe what?”
• BELIEVE that Jesus shed His blood on the cross, died for your sins, and was resurrected on the third day so that you might have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NASB)
• BELIEVE God’s Word and SPEAK or confess your belief to others. “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,’ that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:8-10, NIV)
• BELIEVE in the grace and finished work of God and Jesus Christ. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10, NASB)
• BELIEVE that Jesus loves you and that He died for you. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NASB)
• BELIEVE that all of your sins (past, present, and future) were forgiven when Jesus died on the cross and that God will remember them no more. “For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more.” (Hebrews 8:12, AMP)
• BELIEVE and have the faith of a little child. “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:16-17, NIV)
Granted, there are many other important things that you must do to support your faith walk, but they are all based on the foundation of believing—believing in God, His Word, His Son Jesus Christ, and in God’s love for you. Do you struggle with believing that God is your only Source and that every Word in the Bible was inspired by Him? Do you struggle with believing that He loves you and that you are His beloved? Do you struggle with the fact that He wants to please you and give you the true desires of your heart?
If we doubt God’s love for us, we will doubt His Word. If we doubt His Word, we will fail in our attempts to achieve success God’s way, prospering in every area of our lives. If you are experiencing any areas of fear, doubt or unbelief, we want to encourage you to pray about them. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you overcome anything that will hinder you from believing. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
As you walk in faith, trusting in God and His Word, we encourage you to take these additional steps to achieve success God’s way:
1. Before making a decision on anything, ask God what He wants you to do first.
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
2. Don’t worry about things, situations or people. Pray instead.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
3. Be thankful for everything in spite of your circumstances.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (James 1:2-3)
4. Praise God in all things.
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. (1 Chronicles 16:9)
5. Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31)
6. Trust in the Lord, not your own understanding.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
7. Put your belief in God and faith to work by applying a corresponding action.
But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Do you see how faith worked with his works, and from the works faith was made complete? (James 2:20-22, MKJV)
“For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:3), therefore, success and prosperity (wholeness in every area of your life) is attainable through Christ who gives us strength. We pray that through the blood of Jesus, you will rely on our Heavenly Father to guide you. Allow His Word and the voice of the Holy Spirit to direct your steps. Trust in His love. BELIEVE the words He spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” (Jeremiah 29:11, AMP). Simply BELIEVE!