“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 succes” (Joshua 1:8)
Is it not strange how most people today, even Christians, view success and blessings? How many of us really view success as in Joshua 1:5-8? How many view the Valley of Baca or the Potter’s House as success? Let us pray that in our journey, as God conforms us more and more to His image, that we view our circumstances through spiritual eyes and not through physical eyes.
The world views a Pastor / Preacher / Teacher / Man of God as successful using the standard of numbers: wealth; good children, who also become successful in the world’s philosophy; etc. Whereas God views a Man of God successful if he is faithful to his calling, to his mission and purpose concerning Christ and His Kingdom; not as to his worldly attainments.
But it is very difficult to keep one’s eyes upon Christ and spiritual success in truth, if we try to do it for God, and not to God.
Christians get tired and weary in doing for God, because most of it is done in the energy of the flesh. This is especially true when they do for God, and they receive no material success in this world. However, when you are in love with God – you love Him, not the service or the activity of the doing for God. When you love Him – it is not about you, or your circumstances; it is all about His Glory. It is all about Him and His Will, no matter what we have to endure.
Study Jeremiah’s life; even Christ’s life, as He performed the Will of the Father (or of Himself, being God). It was for Jeremiah and Christ a life of suffering, hardship, and tribulation in this world. But both carried out the Will of God; not for the glory of their efforts, but for God’s Glory.
There is a huge, 180 degree difference in “for” and “to” God.
So as we measure our success, we must not fall into the trap of “success” meaning how much or what we acquire of this world’s goods; or even in the opinions of others. But we must always judge our success by our communion with God; by the revelation of Truth we are given; and by the doing of God’s Will, no matter where we are, or what we must endure. If we can do this (and we can, see Philippians 4:13), then we will have Godly success and we will please Him now and in eternity.
You might ask, “Pastor, how do we accomplish this?”
The answer is very simple:
1) Remember our first love;
2) Repent when we depart; and
3) Return to the old paths.
4) Read His Word.
5) Rejoice in His Salvation.
6) Reign daily in our life through His Life
7) Rest in His Promises as true, sure, and certain that they cannot and will not fail us.
8) Receive His engrafted Word with meekness (or submission, obedience, and endurance), which is able to save (or preserve) our souls.
9) Relax in the inner working of God in our spirits to fill us; to guide us; to empower us; and to enable us to be daily overcomers of all enemies.
10) Reach for His Protection, Preeminence, Perception, Power, and Performance of and in His Love to Him, and to others, daily.
11) Reject the ways of the flesh; walk no more in the flesh, but yield to the Spirit.
12) Refuse to be compromisers.
13) Refuse to be slothful in the Study of His Word, in daily prayer to Him, and in walking by faith.
14) Run the race that is set before us, laying aside every sin and weight that does so easily beset us.
15) Ride in the Ark, Christ Jesus, through all the storms of life.
16) Render all praises to Him daily.
17) Recite by memory His Word that we might hide it in our heart that we sin not against Him.
18) Renounce the Old Man and put on the New Man daily.
19) Reconcile to our enemies, that we walk in peace with all men.
20) Recoil from all bitterness, murmuring, and complaining.
21) Resist the flesh on every hand and give it no place in our lives.
22) Recollect the past mistakes to vow never to return to them.
23) Repeat our vow to Him daily to follow the Lamb whithersoever.
24) Renew our commitment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This is my answer as to how to overcome our circumstances when in the Valley of Baca. There are times when we are on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus; we are now in possession of the Glorified Christ. We are in His Presence; and we are One in Him (John 1:21-24). And yet we must:
25) Refocus with every morning’s light. To be sure we know we are not our own, but we belong to God by Election, by Redemption, by Calling, and by Conversion. And we shall always be His Child.
Therefore, it is not our will, but God’s Will. It is not what we want, but what God has planned and purposed for us. We must always know and acknowledge every morning who God is and who we are by His Grace; and why He created us, chose us, and called us. (And we know that is to bear fruit and that fruit remain.)
We are to be monuments of His Love, Mercy, and Grace in this wicked world. We must be Seed Sowers, Seed Doers, and Seed-bearing Fruit, or a Harvest of the Fruit of the Spirit.