GOOD SUCCESS


INTRODUCTION: While flipping around the television channels, I noticed that most of the ads were based on the major desires that dwell in humanity... love, security, health and power.

We all want to be healthy, we all want to love and be loved. We all want the security of knowing the house payment and the utility bills will be paid when due and we want to know that our families will be fed on a regular basis. We all desire the power to make decisions concerning our lives, where we will go, what we will do and when we will do it.  We don't want to be pushed around by every circumstance that comes along. In short, we want to live successful lives.

The people who do the advertising, spent a lot of money finding that out, and pushing their products by aiming at those desires. Use my shampoo, or toothpaste and you'll find love. Use my vitamins, margarine, and whole grain cereal and you'll be healthy. Use my bank or investment company and you will have security and power.

These things are all very nice and we should use them, but they are not the cause of successful living. Christians should know that the world's method is wrong. It's not shampoo, perfume, toothpaste, or banks that make you successful at life. It is having the greater one (Jesus) in you, and allowing Him to live out His life through you, that causes successful living.

Lets read 2 Peter 1:3, from the AMP.  Brackets enclose my notes. "For His divine power has bestowed (past tense) upon us all (not some, but all) things that are requisite and suited to life (life refers to body) and godliness (godliness refers to spirit) through the full personal knowledge (knowledge refers to mind or soul) of Him who called us by and to His own glory and excellence."

We are made after the image of God. We are a spirit, that lives in a body, and we have a soul (soul is the intellect and the emotions).  John 10:10, AMP, says that Jesus came so that we might have and enjoy life, have it in abundance, to the full, until it over flows. When Jesus spoke of abundant life, He was talking about all three parts of man......the whole you and the whole me. An abundant, successful life is a life that has all needs met, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. An abundant, successful life is one that has Jesus at the center, the devil underfoot and enough energy and money to give unto every good work. All wrong removed, all lack supplied. I am telling you that God is opposed to lack of any kind. He wants you free, well and prosperous, not captive, sick and poor. It is God who gives us the power through His Son to gain wealth, the whole man, kind of wealth. The reason is, so that His covenant (the Good News) can be established upon the earth. Deut. 8:18.

Peter plainly says that all we need to live an abundant, successful life has already been given to us. Well, if that is true, then how come so many of us, who, according to John 16:27, are the beloved of God, are going around without peace, without health, without jobs and without successful living.

In the past, I have had the opportunity to visit and participate in quite a few church services. I am disturbed by what I have seen. The people of God ....people who have been redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness and poverty...seem to be always needy, and running here and there seeking signs from God. This ought not to be. The word does not say that believers follow after signs. It says that signs follow after believers.

It is true, that even the most dedicated, diligent believer will, on occasion, let down their shield of faith and be wounded by the enemy's fiery darts. But living a life of defeat, always broke, sick and sinning, is not the way it is supposed to be. We, the people of God, are supposed to be the representatives of God on this earth. We are to be marching across the land, with healing and deliverance in our hands, setting people free in the name of Jesus. It appears that something has gone wrong. We need to grow up and stop allowing the devil to shove us around. How do we do that?

Lets read some more of 2 Peter 1:2, AMP.
"May grace, God's favor, and peace, which is perfect well being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts be multiplied to you in the full, personal, precise and correct knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord."

Did you notice that these things will be multiplied to you in the correct knowledge of God and of Jesus? If we are to be free, well and prosperous. We must have correct knowledge of the nature of God. We must know Him fully, personally, precisely and correctly.

Aha! perhaps this is our problem. Hosea said, my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. Isaiah said, my people are carried into captivity by a lack of knowledge. It was true then. It is true now. Most Christians don't know what God is like....they only know what someone else has said God is like. As a result, Satan is able to steal their blessing.

Lets read Romans 12:2, AMP.
"Do not be conformed to this world, this age, fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs. But be transformed, changed, by the entire renewal of your mind....by its new ideals and its new attitude...so that you may prove, for yourselves, what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect in His sight for you."

If you know that which is good and acceptable and perfect in His sight for you, you will be a success at living. In fact, you will be so successful that others will look at you and desire to have the same thing that you have. Then you can tell them that you are successful because of Jesus and the promises of God.

Peter said, that God has already given us everything that we need to live a successful life. That is a promise, or a principal of God's word. The question is, how do we get the principal off of the written page and into the practical aspects of our lives? How can the principal, or the promise of God, become a reality in MY life?

If I were to tell you that there are only three steps to success in life, you would probably think, "Oh! I wish that were so."  And then forget what I said, so, I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to show you in God's word, where He said, there are only 3 steps to success in life.

Lets look at Joshua 1:8, AMP.
"This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success."

SUCCESS - STEP ONE
Step one of God's three point plan for successful living is to meditate God's Word. What does meditate mean? It means to ponder, to think, to really dwell on something. Most people think that they do not know how to meditate, yet they do it all the time. They meditate in the negative. All of us are experts at meditating in the negative, we call it worry.

We get the English word worry from an old German word, Wyrgan. Which means to strangle, choke, or tear at the throat with teeth. We still use the word in its original meaning when we speak of a cat worrying a mouse. Worry means to be anxious, feel uneasy, be apprehensive, disturbed, troubled, distressed, agonize, fret, despair, lose heart, be down hearted, be heavy hearted, be afraid, dread, brood over, stew. It is also defined as torment, agony, misery, woe, difficulty and vexation. The opposite of worry is comfort, solace, console, soothe, calm, assurance, security, trust, composure, tranquility, peace of mind and serenity.

Worry is the devil playing us like a cat plays a mouse. Wearing us down until we are of no use to ourselves or anyone else. The devil throws us a problem, we co-operate with him. We start meditating that problem until we have it on giant screen, three dimensional, living color in our minds.

But the Word says that we are not to do that, instead we are to meditate the Word of God which tells us that we have victory.

3 John 2, AMP.
"Beloved, I pray that you will prosper in every way and that your body may keep well, even as I know your soul keeps well and prospers."

We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. The soul is the seat of the intellect and emotions. When we are born again, our spirits are made alive unto God. Our bodies and our minds do not change. We must put ourselves into the word and renew our minds. With a new spirit and a renewed mind, it won't be long until the body is brought into line.

What we think about is important.

We need renewed minds. The way that we get them is to meditate the word. We will never live successful lives until we have renewed minds. What we think about is important. Do you recall how God came down at the tower of Babel? Genesis 11:6 He said, "and now nothing they have imagined will be impossible to them." To imagine, is to think. Everything we do begins in our minds. Sin starts in the mind. Think about murder, rape, adultery, robbing a bank, a drink of whiskey or eating a candy bar long enough, and it becomes a reality.  Defeat starts in the mind. Think you can't do it?. Then, I promise you that you won't be able to. If we think on the devil's way long enough, it will become a reality in our lives.

Victorious living also begins in the mind. That's why Paul said, "What so ever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, has virtue, and is worthy of praise, think on these things."  Philippians 4:8 AMP says "Fix your minds on them"

When we meditate, or think the word, we are thinking God's way. God's way ,thought on long enough, will become a reality in our lives. When we fill our minds with the word of God, there will be no room for the idle imageries of the devil. We need to ponder how the word applies to our lives, to dwell on how the word changes our situation.

By faith we are to meditate or think the word until we see ourselves in agreement with the word of God. By faith we are to meditate or think the word until we see ourselves as God sees us. God sees us as free, well, and prosperous. Is that how you see yourself? Does free, well, and prosperous describe your life? If not, then stop worrying and start meditating the word of God. Scripture is given for reproof, instruction and correction. So that the man or woman of God may be perfect. Thoroughly furnished unto every good work. 2 Tim. 3:16-17

Lets read Jos.1:8, again.
"This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success."

SUCCESS - STEP TWO
Step two of God's three point plan for successful living is speak the Word.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7, KJV.
"And these words, which I am commanding you this day, shall be first in your own mind and heart; then you shall whet and sharpen them, so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the minds and hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up."

How often are we supposed to speak the word? When we sit, when we walk, when we lie down and when we rise up. That looks like all the time to me. God says that if we don't do this, then we will forget that it was He who brought us out of bondage. Deut. 6:8-12   Then the next thing that we will forget is, that we are out of bondage.

Jesus said, that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Computer programmers will tell you that computers can only do what they are programmed to do. They say that garbage in, equals garbage out. In this respect, you are like a computer. The words that you put in you are the words which will come out of your mouth. What do you watch and listen to most of the time? Television re-runs of Charlie's angels and the duds of hazard? Stop and listen to your self talk, and you will know what is in you.... in abundance.

If you are talking doubt, fear and sickness, that's what you are filled with. You need to change your source of information. You have a choice, you are either snared by the words of your mouth or set free by the words of your mouth. A good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth good things. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Put God's word in, by meditating on it and then you will have it to speak with your mouth. God's word in your mouth will cause good things to happen to you.

What we say is important.

We've got to watch our mouths. The word of God says that the mouth of a righteous man is a well of life...the tongue of the wise is health...keep your mouth and thus your life...A wholesome tongue is a tree of life...Pleasant words are health to the bones. Proverbs 10:12, 12:18, 13:3, 15:4, 16:24, 18:20-21, Psalms 34:12-14

What is an evil tongue? We have come to think of an evil tongue as using swear words. But I tell you, it is much more. Israel is a good example. Many plagues were brought on the Israelites because of their words.

In Numbers 11:1-3, they grumbled and complained about their hardships...and fire devoured them.

In Numbers 11:4-10, they listened to rabble (that's sitting in the counsel of the ungodly) then wept and said, wish we had the same food we had in Egypt. Meat, meat, meat....Request granted, but they died as it touched their lips.

In Numbers 12:1-16 and 16:1-50, they mumbled against God's chosen leaders with dire results.

In Numbers 13:16-33, they spoke of the problems (giants) instead of speaking God's promise. They should have said with God we are well able, that was the answer.

In Numbers 14:2, they said, wish we were dead. They were given what they spoke in Numbers 14:28

Listen folks, what you say is what you get.

James 3:2-9, KJV.
"For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they are so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet they are turned about with a very small helm, where ever the governor desires. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Wherewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God."

Oh come on now....I don't curse anyone. Oh yeah!!!  Who is it among us who has never dwelt upon the short comings of another. Who is it among us who never criticizes, never gossips, never puts someone down with our words. Just let someone fall from grace, and the church people rush in like birds of prey. We must grow up. We must stop joining the devil in destruction. We must know and let Isaiah. 50:4 work through us. "God has given me the tongue of one who is taught, that I might speak a word in season to him who is weary," Psalm 17:4 tells us that God's word on our lips will cause us to avoid the path of the destroyer.

Lets read Joshua 1:8, again.
"This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success."

SUCCESS - STEP THREE
Step three of God's three point plan for successful living is do the Word.  Most of us would rather sit and receive the word, than stand and give. So we come to hear the word, we fill up on the bread from heaven. Then we sit and pick our teeth and burp. The result is a lot of spiritually fat, sluggish Christians with problems. The book of James tells us that a doer of the word will be blessed in his or her deeds. Being blessed in our deeds, means success.

There is an example, in Matthew 7:24-28, of two men and how they responded after hearing the word of God.

"So every one who hears these words of mine and acts upon them, obeying them, will be like a sensible prudent, practical, wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a stupid foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house and it fell; and great and complete was the fall of it."

The wise man acted on the word, the foolish man probably said, yeah, that's right, but then did nothing. You can be either person, you get to choose. God says that if you hear these sayings and do them not, then you will be likened unto the foolish man whose house fell when the storms came.

It is absolutely amazing how we behave. We will believe, and act on the words of the newscaster who says no rain tomorrow. We plan a picnic or some other out door activity based on the words of some person we have never met and whose record of accuracy is not very good. How many times have you been caught without an umbrella? Probably lots, I have. Yet we continue to make plans based on the weather report.

Or perhaps a friend will say that we need vitamins. Because of this non expert, casual advice, we will spend a lot of money and start taking vitamins. Someone that we barely know may comment that we look good in blue, from then on, we wear a lot of blue.  We take the word of the sales clerk or the advertisement, which says that this is the best product made, and that it is a bargain. Even though we don't need one, many times, we will buy. After all the clerk said, that it is very good. We act on the clerk's word. Some of us might even buy two. But when it comes to the word of God, we draw back with unbelief. If we can believe a man's word and act on it, then surely we should do no less for the word of God.  

In Luke 17:12-13 the story of the ten lepers who were healed is recorded. The story says the lepers stood afar off. Under the law it was not lawful for a leper to enter a village. If anyone approached them, they had to cry "unclean" "unclean". These lepers saw Jesus at a distance and cried "Jesus, master, have mercy on us." And Jesus answered them with something that in the natural seemed impossible for them to do. He said, "Go show yourself to the priests." Under the law, if they went to the temple, as lepers, they would be stoned. There was however, a provision in the law that said, when a leper was clean, he had a right to enter the temple and show himself to the priest. The priest would then declare him clean and he would be free to return to his home. Jesus knew the law. He wasn't telling them to go present themselves to be stoned. He was speaking the end result to those lepers. He saw them as cleansed, so He told them to act like it. If these lepers had been hearers of the word only, they would have said, "But Jesus, you don't understand, we've got leprosy, we can't go to the priest." But apparently these men did not argue, they believed His word and acted accordingly, for it says, that as they went they were cleansed."

What we do is important.

James says that faith without works is dead, one translation reads, faith with out corresponding actions of obedience is destitute of power. God doesn't bless the lazy, it is only after you have done all, that you may stand. Remember that when Jesus turned water into wine, it required the effort of the people. They filled the jars, and they poured it out. It was in the middle of their obedience to His word, that the miracle occurred. We are to do the works on the earth that Jesus did. Preach the gospel to the poor, heal the broken hearted, set at liberty them that are bruised, recover the sight of the blind. We can't do any of that if we are always in need. If we are to be overcomers, we must think the word, speak the word, and do the word. It must become a way of life for us.

We give a lot of attention to our physical bodies. We make sure that we never miss a meal. In fact, many times we have snacks in addition to our regular meals. We devote a lot of thought to seeing that our families and ourselves have balanced diets. Grains, greens, fruits, meat and dairy products. But we do not give that much attention to our spirits. We go to church two or three times a week (maybe) and someone serves us up a slice of the bread of life. Then we go home and try to make that slice of bread last for several days. Your secular job requires a lot of physical fuel. Your spiritual job also requires a lot of fuel. Feeding your spirit man once or twice a week just won't get the job done. Moving mountains takes a lot of fuel. Do you remember the Charles Atlas ad? How the 97 lb. weakling always got sand kicked in his face? Listen folks, you must have daily bread to be strong in the Lord. If you don't think the word, speak the word, and do the word....continuously, then Satan and his demons will be kicking sand in your face on a regular basis.

If you want to, and you have the money, you can hire someone to do just about anything you want, pertaining to your physical body. You can hire some one to push, pull and pound it into shape. If you have funds and the desire to do so, you can hire someone to dress it, and move it from place to place. You can even hire someone to cut up your food and put it into your mouth. But they can't swallow it or digest it for you. That you must do for yourself. Your pastor and guest speakers can pray and preach and teach until they are hoarse. They can lay out the bread of life, but they can't follow you home and feed you. Nor can they swallow it for you or digest it for you. If you expect to be victorious over the giants in the land, you must think the word, speak the word, and do the word continuously.

A life of consistent obedience to God's three point plan for success will bring a life of consistent blessing. Well, you say, I've been doing that. I've pictured the windows of heaven opening up and floating down from heaven, here comes all the money to pay my bills. I've said my God supplies all my needs 14,032 times. Every week, I act on the word, which says give and it shall be given unto you. And my check book balance still says $10.03 How long am I going to have to wait? How long do I have to wait for results?

Hebrews 10:23, 35-36, KJV.
"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) Do not cast away your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. "

Holding fast means to be patient, and patience means to be constant, never changing regardless of the circumstances. Circumstances, may indicate there is no way to win, but you must not let go of the word. Keep holding fast to the confession of your faith. He is faithful who has promised.  Once you determine to stand.  No matter how long it takes.  Then it won't take very long.

First, find the scripture in the bible that meets your need. Keep that scripture in your mind, visualize it coming to pass. Second, keep that scripture in your mouth. Tell everyone, this is God's promise to me. Third, begin to act like it is so.

Think the word, speak the word, do the word.  This will, according to Joshua 1:8, cause YOU to deal wisely have good success, and YOU will make YOUR way prosperous. You will become like the man of Psalms 1. You will be like a tree planted by the water, your leaf will not wither, you will bring forth fruit in season, and whatever you do will prosper.

Never forget, He is the Lord your God who teaches you to profit and leads you in the way you are to go.  He says to hearken to His commands, and then your peace and prosperity will be like a flowing river.  Isaiah 48:17-18

Acts 20:32, KJV.
"And now ... I commend you to God and the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified".