– Francis Chan
Too often we hear success defined in terms of business, financial, or stock market assets, but what is success according to the Word of God? Just look to Joseph where it was written, “The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master” (Gen 39:2), but wait a second! Doesn’t he end up being unjustly thrown into prison? That’s success? In God’s eyes it is, because even in prison, “the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison” (Gen 39:21).
The Apostle Paul writes “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). Has something bad happened to you recently? God says it will work out according to His purpose, and even though God’s working out His purpose, it may not feel like it to us. This is when we must learn to trust Him in all things, good and bad. To us, the bad things may seem to be working out for the worst, but not according to God. The evil done to Joseph was what God intended for good (Gem 50:20).
After Moses died, God told Joshua to “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” (Joshua 1:8), and as far as the Law of God or the Word of God, “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” (Joshua 1:9). Success is doing what God says and He is greatly pleased when we walk in His ways.
Who doesn’t want success, but do we want it at any cost? Success begins with obeying God, but also in the fifth commandment which says, “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deut 5:16). It will go well with you if honor your parents. It doesn’t mean your life will be problem free, but not honoring your parents is one way to lose God’s blessing and getting much bigger problems. It doesn’t say, “Honor your father and mother” if they are good parents, just “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you.” Period!
Francis Chan says that God will ensure my success in accordance with His plan, not mine, but we must know what true success is, and trust that God knows what’s best for us, and so we live and breathe and move to please Him, in the hopes that “it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deut 5:16).