Not all success is good. Not all prosperity is good. Success and prosperity may take the appearance of a most desirable ambition, but not all success and prosperity are good.
I often wonder why some people try to push their way and force situations to move in their favor so they could gain ahead and be on top. They do achieve what they want. But, oftentimes, I observe that this manner of achieveing success is not “good success” as what the Word of God teaches. Success achieved by force, manipulation, dishonesty, and injustice would not result to the sweet fruit of the labor that it is supposed to bring. On the contrary, it brings disorder, strife, discontent, broken relationships, envy, anger, resentment, bitterness, sorrow, and most of the time, one’s integrity and credibility are at stake. What is the use of prosperity when people do not trust you and people hate you? This is not the kind of success God designs for His children.
God’s way of success and the prosperity that God gives to His children bring peace and happiness. There is no trouble in it.
“Yahweh’s blessing brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.”– Proverbs 10:22 (WEB)
Apart from God there is no good success. Even when a man shall gain the whole world and riches are in his disposal, it would not profit him anything (Mark 8:36). We can gain riches, power, fame and whatever our heart desires but if these are gained apart from God, we shall not profit from them.
When Moses died, God called Joshua, the son of Nun and Moses’ assistant, to lead Israel to the Promise Land (Joshua 1:1-5). God promised Joshua “good success” but with conditions. God’s commands to Joshua were
- (v. 6-7, 9) Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid, do not be dismayed.
- (v. 7-8) Be careful to observe all the law; it shall not depart from your mouth but meditate on it day and night.
And, God’s promise of blessing to Joshua were
- (v. 3) I have given you every place that the sole of your foot will tread on, as I told Moses (WEB).
- (v. 5) No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail you nor forsake you (WEB).
- (v. 7-8) … for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success (WEB).
Joshua and the whole of Israel had a prosperous future planned out by God for them. God will give them a prosperous land and no one shall be able to subdue them. But this “good success” God promised to Joshua could only happen when Joshua and Israel will live in careful obedience to God. His Word shall never depart from their day to day living. They should obey everything God commands and obey them all carefully.
We can have “good success” too. But only when we carefully obey the Lord in our daily life. We are not called to be perfect but we are called to trust our perfect God. As we trust God and obey His will in our life, He will lead us to good success. The kind of success that is pure, joyful, sweet, honorable, and pleasing to Him.