Success takes on many different forms because there are different ways of determining if you are successful or not. In Webster’s dictionary it states that it is “a favorable or desired outcome that has been met.” So success is determined by the person setting what the measurement and outcome is. Success is different according to your personal desire. If your goal is to be rich in earthly wealth then by attaining a lot of money, one could say that you are successful. But for those of us who follow Christ, seeking success means seeking God’s presence and asking the Lord to go with us and be at work in the details of our lives.
In the Book of Nehemiah, we find the story of Nehemiah returning to his homeland to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. His heart was heavy because of the destruction of Jerusalem by her enemies. It was not an easy road to travel. There were many obstacles to go through. But Nehemiah was praying at the very beginning and boldly asked the Lord for His favor and success in meeting with the king to get permission to go on this long trip. Nehemiah knew that he first needed to seek the Lord first because he didn’t want to attempt this if God wasn’t going to make it successful.
“O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.” Nehemiah 1:11
There were many in opposition to Nehemiah. Eventually his enemies lost confidence because they realized they had been fighting God himself (Nehemiah 6:15-16). When God is in the mission, He will fight our battles for they are not ours but His to begin with.
In order to be successful, we need to first consult the Lord and make sure it is of His will. Then we can be confident to know that we are only called to follow His lead. Celebrating that kind of success is longer lasting because we serve and eternal God.
This Sunday we are continuing to “Hang Out with the Giants” from Hebrews 11. We will ask Isaiah to give us insight into his life as we strive to be all that God has called us to be.
May God find you successful today in all that you accomplish through Him.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene