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Keys to a Successful Life

The story is told of a new bank president who met with his predecessor and said, “like to know what have been the keys to your success.” The older gentleman looked at him and replied, “Young man, I can sum it up in two words: Good decisions.” To that the young man responded, “I thank you immensely for that advice, sir, but how does one come to know which are the good decisions?” “One word, young man,” replied the sage. “Experience.” “That’s all well and good,” said the younger, “but how does one get experience?” “Two words,” said the elder. “Bad decisions.”

All of us are striving to be successful people. You want to be rewarded with the best possible achievement in your field, in business, with your peers and society.

The Bible offers some keys for a successful life. In the book of Joshua 1 the nation is poised to claim the promises of God in their lives. They are on a journey to success. Let’s look at some keys to a successful life.

1. A successful life comes from following God’s agenda (Joshua 1:1-4)

God has an agenda for Joshua. It’s the same agenda he had for Moses. No surprise because he’s the same God. The problem arises when everyone else’s agenda is crowding out God’s agenda. You have to admit everyone has an agenda for you but not everyone’s agenda gets the priority and no surprise (again), God’s agenda is shoved aside. If you are not following God’s blueprint (agenda) for your life, you may never know or experience your full potential. Take a moment to think about how quick you are to push God outside your daily activities than you do to bring him into it. Following God’s agenda will revolutionize your entire life. Start today by making deliberate choices of getting onto God’s agenda.

2. A successful life comes from a willingness to break new ground (Joshua 1:1-4)

God makes a promise to Joshua and to the Israelites that he will give them every place they will set their foot. As long as they are setting foot on the places that are in God’s agenda, he will give them that place.

There are some places in our hearts that are like the fortified cities of the land of Canaan. There are some parts of our hearts where we have built thrones and castles on high places like castles in the land of Canaan signifying pride and security and independence. Breaking new ground may mean that you will have to decide to tear down those high places if you want to experience his promises. Identify your fortified cities. Identify you high places. Now ask God to give you the courage to tear them down. You will never experience success until you have a willingness to break new ground.You will never experience success until you have a willingness to break new ground.

 

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How the Mighty Fall

I picked up yesterday morning’s newspaper and my attention was immediately drawn to an article on the front page. Standing there, riveted by the content I read all the way through to the end and I thought to myself, “how the mighty fall”. About two weeks ago I preached on Psalm 73. This Psalm speaks so clearly and empathetically to our context. According to the Psalmist; Asaph, he is doing everything “by the book” but the blessings of God are always escaping him and are finding their way to the wicked people around him. “How could this be!” exclaims Asaph. “Life is not fair!”, “God is robbing me!” These words exclaimed by Asaph thousands of years ago have their residence in our hearts and mouths as well.

Life just doesn’t seem fair to the pastor who expounds scripture with integrity of heart yet the man who is promoting a false gospel has a larger congregation, driving a smarter car, earning a fatter salary, has a bigger building and enjoys more fame. Life just doesn’t seem fair to the businessman who’s running his business God’s way but the other businessman down the road is cheating, defrauding, slandering and manipulating his customers yet he’s growing richer, his shop is expanding, more people are flocking to him and he’s the shop everyone’s talking about. Life doesn’t seem fair to the university student and the scholar who is diligently working hard and producing his or her assignments with fairness only to be frustrated by the success of the student who’s getting ahead in spite of plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Do these scenarios sound familiar to you? I think these scenarios are familiar to every one of us. And like Asaph we too exclaim, “Life is NOT fair!”

As the Psalm unfolds, Asaph discovers that the fate of the wicked lies ultimately in the hand of our great God. We may not see it now, neither can they see it, but the misplaced hope in their wealth puts them on slippery ground. A day is coming when God will remove their foundations of illegal earnings, coerced and manipulated fame and he will make them as nothing. Do not be tempted to leave your innocent ways so that you can achieve what the wicked are achieving. What they achieve will be short lived. Asaph himself knew how tempting it was when he said, “Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence”. But praise the Lord that Asaph understood the instability of the wicked when he saw thing from God’s point of view.

Why did the newspaper article captivate my attention so much? Many years ago when my dad and I was in business we were robbed of hundreds of thousands of rands by businessmen who “went bankrupt”. Their bankruptcy resulted in our bankruptcy. Consequently we immediately went into debt, we lost all our vehicles, we barely had food, and finally the bank repossessed our house. For many years we struggled. Life was tough! The article that caught my attention yesterday told the story of one of the businessmen who closed his financial doors on us. This is how the article concluded with the words of this businessman, “I own nothing now. My reputation is in tatters and my career is ruined. I am a white male. I will be 70 on my next birthday and I am looking for a job.” He made this comment after discovering that he was robbed of all of his R12 000 000 (yes, twelve million!). The wicked are always on slippery ground.

God always catches his man!

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in General Blog

 

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