I find myself busy doing a lot, and if I’m not careful, if I let myself be affected by how the outside views success, I could be incredibly discouraged.
Surely, I’m not the only one. I mean when our success is determined by how much we make or how many likes we get on Instagram, how many followers we have, how many unread text messages we have, our GPA, the amount of people who show up at events we organize, or even just how many people give us compliments on things that we do, it’s EXHAUSTING.
So, let’s take a trip together and learn from two of the most successful people of all time. We’ll start with the person who is giving the advice:
You know. The guy who killed Goliath. The guy who is called “a man after God’s own heart.” The guy who established Jerusalem as the capital of his kingdom. The guy who all other leaders are judged against. Here’s his advice:
“Observe the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go.”
1 Kings 2:3 (NLT)
It boils down to this: Obey God. Follow His ways. Pretty simple right?
And who is he telling this to?
You know. Solomon, the wisest man ever. And extremely wealthy too.
So where do we start with this obedience?
We learn from a prophet named Micah who comes in a bit later. He gives this message when the nation of Israel has strayed from God yet again.
“No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8 (NLT)
Do what is right --- simple enough. Do the right thing. Not what we want always. We want easy. But we’re called to do what is right. Even when it’s the most difficult thing to do.
Love mercy --- God couldn’t demand that we have mercy. That wouldn’t make us merciful. It would just make us more obedient. This has to be a separate command. Otherwise, He’s just repeating Himself here. He is calling us to take on His character. He wants us to love mercy because HE loves mercy.
Walk humbly with your God --- Know your place. Know where you sit in the order of where things fall. Don’t underestimate your place and know that God operates in the space we leave for Him.
So how does this look in our daily lives? How do we obey God?
First of all, we must know what is required of us. That requires us to know His Word. Not instantly. How much do you remember of your World History class in high school? How do you ensure that you actually learn? You continually study it. Not all day long everyday. It’s about consistency.
“My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.
Proverbs 3:1-4 (NLT)
It’s everyday. It’s the little things that add up. Where is your time spent?
What would our world look like if we took care of our business?
If we stopped worrying about how everyone else defines our success and instead we focused on taking on the character of God?
What if we used our knowledge of His ways to grant mercy to everyone we came into contact with?
How can you expect to lead anyone to a change that you have not experienced yourself?
Why should anyone buy into the product that you sell if you haven’t bought into it yourself?
You know what this world loves?
And we have the recipe.