The dictionary defines success as the achievement of desired results. ( Cambridge dictionary)
Success and prosperity are used interchangeably in the Bible.
Prosperity can be said to be the condition of being successful or thriving especially: economically. ( Miriam Webster)
How do we become successful?
Through Meditating on the word
Joshua is given an instruction to meditate on God’s word day and night for the purpose of carefully obeying it. Then, he is told prosperity and success would be inevitable.
We meditate on the word of God through studying, reflecting, committing it to memory, and doing what it says. Meditating has to be followed by doing for there to be success.
…But whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by the streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:2-3
The theme is repeated here. The man who meditates on the law of the Lord; who delights in knowing and doing His law. He is likened to a tree planted by the stream of water; whose life is constantly nourished by truth and guided by God’s commandments. He is said to be fruitful and whatever he does prospers.
By trusting in the Lord
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
Sounds like Jeremiah is reading from Psalms 1. The one who trusts in the Lord, who puts his hope and confident expectation on Him, is the one who never fails to bear fruit.
Fruitful is another way of saying someone is prosperous.
There has to be an intentional dependence upon the Lord. We don’t trust in our abilities, we trust in the Lord. We don’t have confidence in our plans, our confidence is in the Lord.
Commit your works to the Lord [ submit and trust them to Him] and your plans will succeed [ if you respond to His will and guidance]. Proverbs 16:3 AMP
We trust in the Lord by submitting our plans to Him. We succeed in what we do because whatever we do is submitted under His guidance and will for our lives.
We succeed because God is with us
The LORD was with Joseph, and he [ even though a slave] became a successful and prosperous; and he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. When his master saw that the LORD was with him, and made him prosper in all he did, Joseph found favor in His sight and became his personal attendant. Genesis 39:2-4
We are told that Joseph even though a slave was a successful and prosperous man. And that even his master could clearly see that the LORD was with him because everything he did prospered.
It wasn’t because Joseph was skilled or wise, but because the LORD was with him. In all that he did, God was in the equation and this made a difference.
People may not see God in and through us except by what God makes to succeed through our hands. Potiphar had no prior knowledge of God, he was an idol worshipper but he was able to see God through Joseph’s success.
When God is with a man or a woman success is inevitable.
David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the LORD was with him. 1 Samuel 18:14
David didn’t just have success in one thing, or in some things; he succeeded in all things because God was with him.
We can see here that biblical success isn’t measured by the attainment of wealth or positions. But is measured through a person’s ability to achieve desired results. Joseph didn’t have money or properties in Egypt. He was a slave who owned nothing, yet the Bible calls him successful.
David here hasn’t sat on the throne, he is still a young man but we are told that he is successful.
Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses. And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. 2 Kings 18:5-7
Hezekiah exemplifies everything we have stated above. He trusted in the Lord; meditated on God’s word and followed after Him; because of this the LORD was with him and made him prosperous.
This is not by happenstance. There is a qualifying condition for God to be with a man-a man has to be walking in the ways of the Lord for Him to be with him.
We seek after the Lord
He ( Uzziah) set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper. 2 Chronicles 26:5
Uzziah’s prosperity is connected to one thing- his desire and purpose to seek the LORD. We are told as long as he sought God, God made him prosper.
We are careful to do His commands
And observe what the LORD your God requires: walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go. 1 kings 2:3
David in his old age is instructing young Solomon. He tells him that in order to prosper in all that he wants to do, he has to be carefully following and walking in obedience to God’s commands.
Our success is directly connected to our choosing to walk in obedience to God’s commands.
King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the LORD his God. 2 Chronicles 27:6 NLT
Obedience has a reward as we can see in scripture. Jotham’s power and success came because he was intentional to order his life according to the ways of the LORD.
We live in the blessing
Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold because the LORD blessed him. The man became rich and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. Genesis 26:12-14
Isaac prospered and became wealthy because the LORD blessed him. Isaac was so blessed that even the heathens who saw God’s blessings on him envied him.
Here success is measured in terms of attainment of wealth. Therefore, one can be said to be successful because God has blessed him financially and materially.
Abraham was now very old, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. Genesis 24:1
And Abram became extremely wealthy in livestock and silver and gold. Genesis 13:2
The LORD has greatly blessed my master (Abraham), and he has become rich. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, menservants and maidservants, camels and donkeys. Genesis 24:35
When the Bible says in all things, it means just that. God had given Abraham success in every aspect of his life. This is what the blessing does, when God’s blessing rests on a man, everything about him will be prosperous and successful.
So the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. He owned 14,000 sheep, 6,000 cattle, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. Job 42:12
There are specific instances where success means financial and material things. But for a man to be truly blessed and successful, it has to encompass every area of his life.
May the LORD bless and prosper you in every way!
Have a blessed weekend!