Everyone has their own idea of success. For some, it is fame, wealth, power, position, possessions, or public recognition. With as many measurements as there are for achievement, there are even more ways that people seek to reach those goals. Some of these methods include getting ahead at others’ expense, seeking selfish gain, and winning by any means necessary.
For the Christian, the Bible spells out a different path to success. Joshua 1:7-8 gives a step-by-step plan that if followed, will lead to success God’s way. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
The first part of this passage focuses on submitting to God’s authority—observe to do according to all the law. There are many laws in the Bible. While it is difficult to obey them all the time, God does expect us to seek to improve our behavior and seek to be more submissive to Him each day.
But with so many commandments in the Bible, where does one start? In Matthew 22:37 Jesus Christ was asked a similar question, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? His simple, yet powerful answer provides a starting point to his commandments. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:38-40 Those who love God will seek to learn about Him.
God wants us to not only learn and meditate on His Word, but to submit to it. God communicates through Joshua that obedience and consistency in following God’s Word leads to a prosperous outcome. In both verses, Joshua repeats the phrase “observe to do.” God felt it was important enough to give this instruction twice. He wants us to know what to do and follow through with it. He does not find it acceptable to take sinful detours—turn not from it to the right hand or to the left.
Only true obedience leads us on the road to true success. Learning about the Word of God and doing it far outweigh any technique or measurement of success made by man.
In addition to learning about God’s law and obeying his commandments, we are to let it saturate our lives. It should be obvious when someone is fully engulfed in God’s Word and seeking to obey Him. As Joshua 1:8 demonstrates, this book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth. A Christian focused on God will not be able to remain silent. His words and actions will be evident to others.
This focus will also lead to a desire to learn even more about God’s Word. The verse continues, thou shalt meditate therein day and night. This indicates that we should be engulfed in the Word of God. Our society is often wrapped up in the latest fad, trend, gadget, or source of entertainment. As quickly as they pop up, they equally fade into obscurity. Saturating ourselves in God’s Word provides a lifetime of achievements outside of the world’s version of success.
What does God consider to be success? While the world values wealth and fame, God has a different view. Christ told the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:21 that in order to follow Him and earn treasure in heaven, he should go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor. In Mark 12:43, Christ declared that the value of widow’s two mites was greater than all they which have cast into the treasury. He considered the widow with meager means to be more successful than those who likely donated large amounts of money to the Temple. God considers accomplishments and riches to be secondary to his mission for the world.
Joshua makes it clear that submission and saturation are required to experience God’s success. I Samuel 15:22 emphasizes that to obey is better than sacrifice. The passage in Joshua offers a conditional promise—one that requires action on our part to receive. If we heed God’s commands, “then” we will find “good success.”
A.C.E. School of Tomorrow from the beginning has modeled the A.C.E. curriculum and program around the Biblical model for students to be successful. Assisting local pastors in starting church schools and assisting homeschool parents in the continued training of Godly principles. The goal of every PACE and procedure followed involves the students learning and applying Godly moral character found in the Word of God. May God help us as believers to continue to train our children in the true meaning of success.