A Study of Success
BY CARY MCQUAID
There are many self help books written today. This book was written to show us how to have victory through the leadership that God has established and provided for us as our examples, just as Daniel proposed a challenge to Melzar, “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink.” Daniel 1;12 this after Melzar was instructing everyone to eat the Kings food selection which was meat that wasn’t healthy, the challenge is set before us also, we are challenged to be successful God’s way. Can we overcome and even excel past all by following what God has given to us?
God teaches us that we can if we elect to stay the course and He has given us the way. These 21 Godly characteristics of effective leaders hand-picked and selected by God show us how to be successful in life.
Table of Contents
Staying the Course - Noah’s Nuggets! 6-17
Oval Obedience - Abraham’s Reward! 18- 27
Living Sacrifice - Isaac’s Mission 28 - 37
Building for We? – Nehemiah’s Project 38 - 49
Passing the Baton- Joshua’s Call 50 - 62
Giant Problem – David Discovered 63 - 70
In Memory Of – Cornelius the Centurion 71 - 81
Don’t Run Away – Jonah’s Rebellion 82 – 91
21 Days in Waiting – Daniel’s Success 92 - 100
A Doctor’s Advice – Luke the Physician 100 - 109
RECAP (21 STONES) – Lay the foundation 110 - 113
Chief Cornerstone – Jesus Laid it All! 114- 122
Personal or Team Success! – Meant for all! 123 - 125
To all those great leaders that laid stones of leadership examples for us to follow!
From Self-Help to God's-Help, these 21 Stones of progress are a look into the actions leading to victory and success that were taken by God's Leaders. God’s leaders like Noah, Abraham, and Moses were the leadership examples that Daniel might have studied in his time of waiting. By studying their triumphs we gain valuable insights into the laws of success given to us in God's word. 21 Stones are 21 days into the study of the 21 Godly habits of highly effective leaders that were hand-picked for God’s purpose. Daniel’s prayers were hindered for 21 days, but each day of delay Daniel stood fast and laid a stone as a mark of success against the forces that resisted God’s answer to his prayer. While we wait on God to answer our prayers these life changing examples of success will be our focus.
Noah’s Nuggets - Staying The Course!
“And Noah builded an Altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the Altar.” Genesis 8:20
"And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Genesis 6:7, 8
Is it possible that we can hurt God? "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in:" Isaiah 40:22
It's amazing what people believe! For a long time many believed the earth was flat. This misconception from the time of Columbus has been referred to as "The Myth of the Flat Earth". For more please visit: http://souls-for-christ.com/id33.html He is the Almighty! When we talk about falling it’s not to say that we have stumbled off of our feet and have fallen onto the ground below, nor is it to say that we have lost our balance and are now lying on the ground, instead when we talk about falling, we are talking about a moving away from God, a falling away from God’s ways. When we fall away from God it hurts, it hurts us and it hurts him! To think that we have the ability to hurt God is intense, God has a heart though, a heart that is grieved, and a heart that hurts when we choose to follow another.
Man’s fall started in the garden and has continued ever since. Since the time of Adam and Eve there has been actions repeatedly that we all have taken that have hurt God because of the choice to listen and follow someone else. These actions are called SIN. Our sin(s) hurt God and cause us to be separated from God to live in a fallen state. We are all guilty, and we all have fallen. Behold all we like sheep have gone astray! What can be done about this? "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1John1:9. Although we have hurt God, let us confess our sins and turn to Him in love today!
Many times you won't see anything for some time.
Don't lose hope, keep the faith, and continue the work, knowing that all labor has a profit!
Can you imagine what it took for Noah to do what he did? Talk about swimming against the current! You want to build a what? Noah! Why not just wear a dress out in public and change your name to Nostradamus? Noah, what is rain?
What’s a flood? What’s a ship? Listen, I know you don’t understand and that these things seem new and unusual, but God said it and I believe God!
I can’t help that I am what I am and that you are what you are, but I hope that you will listen and take heed. No matter what you say, God will do what he says and I am sure of this! Ok, are you there yet? Are you there with Noah? Genesis 6 and on tells the story, take a look at it and imagine what it took to stay the course in the face of unbelief and ridicule!
Staying the course, being steadfast, making your heart sure and immovable, that’s what Noah teaches us the best. Did you realize that if Noah had not been as ridiculous as others thought and so focused on righteousness, that none of us would be here today? God was mad! So angry was he that he was intent on destroying all man. Not just a few to make an example regarding sin, but ALL man was scheduled for the slaughter block! We would not be here today if Noah wasn’t crazy about God! For this cause Noah is the first of 21 stones that we will consider. The first stone to success in life is to make a choice and stick with that choice no matter what others say or do! As it is written,
Make your choice!
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14-16
Our choices in life will determine our successes!
Stay the course!
We all must make our choice and stay the course! Staying the course will often require that we are lonely. Noah was the only one in his community or I suppose it could be said his church, he was the only one that was building this ark. Of course his family assisted him, but they knew Noah and how he was with God. They didn’t need a supernatural sign from heaven before they would get involved in this project. Aside from Noah’s family, which was in total 7 others apart from him, aside from them there were no others, in fact all others were opposed and refused to believe. So what made Noah continue? Noah was steadfast in the face of adversity and doubt because he heard God. When we hear God all other voices become faint and distant,
Irrelevant and distracting. To stay the course will require that we make our choice and hear only His voice.
Hear His Voice
“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:4, 5
The three major keys to success for Noah were:
- Noah made his choice
- Noah listened to no other voice
- Noah set his face like flint and stayed the course.
"For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know I shall not be ashamed." Isaiah 50:7
The scrolling banner reads, "I HAVE SET MY FACE LIKE A FLINT!" Can you say this? There will be times in your life that you will have to take a stand and stand therefore having put on the whole armor of God. Unfortunately, there are some powers out there that would love to see you fail, this is a fact, and the old phrases "buck up" or "take the bull by the horn" are required. The reaching down inside for a bit more stubbornness and refusal to quit is necessary. "I shall NOT be moved" is the bulk message that needs to be sent, and God is with you! Just like a tree planted by the waters, I shall not be moved. What a horrible message for our adversary! Just when it seemed that he might be prevailing, we come back with a powerful punch! God is powerful! Take heart, a new thing is coming to you as we speak. God is at work and re-enforcements have been dispatched into this fight. Stand firm and let God take the wheel! The shame shall be redirected and this egg shall be on our adversary's face. Remember the stone in which the builders have rejected? This stone has become the chief Corner-Stone, Jesus is this stone that has been rejected so many times!
"And he beheld them, and said, what is this then that is written, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." Luke 20:17, 18
God is on your side, he has seen your struggles and pains. Stand strong because he will not allow you to be put to shame! Today put your enemies on official notice by saying. I HAVE SET MY FACE LIKE A FLINT AND I SHALL NOT BE MOVED! Let God help you today by letting go and giving the battle to him.
How important was it that Noah made his choice, listened to God’s voice, and stayed the course?
How unfortunate it was for the rest, those that refused to heed God’s voice, citing how strange Noah’s behavior and belief was.
Stay the course and listen to God’s voice this is the keys to success that Noah teaches.
Because of Noah all of humanity received a second chance. The fact that we can all have a second chance is a pivotal part of the character of a successful leader.
To be successful in life we must be ready to forward grace and second chances to all.
Through Noah God’s character of forgiveness is revealed and second chances are introduced to us.
Let’s look at a story that identifies this better,
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
In addition to these:
The three major keys to success for Noah were:
- Noah made his choice
- Noah listened to no other voice
- Noah set his face like flint and stayed the course.
Forgiveness is what Noah represents to us and for our life. Without forgiveness and second chances we could never fail or fall and get back up and try again.
Noah represents New Life! New Starts! And New Hope! Never give up!
Where there is breath there is hope.
"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." 1Corinthians 15:10
Hmm, is it all worth it? This is the sentiment of some after a number of years in the ministry. Some have reflected on some old-time phrases to explain their thoughts, phrases such as, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." This phrase goes along with, "I'll believe it when I see it!" Both of these phrases are a reflection of the condition of faith an individual has. Remember, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6 There are some better phrases that we can use to explain some situations, such as, "A living Dog is better than a dead lion." Ecclesiastes 9:4 and,
"While there is breath there is hope." "The cup is half full and not half empty!" Hope is a must have, without hope there is despair. It's all in how we look at things. Is it worth it? Yes, absolutely! What you are doing to help others and to help Jesus has a great reward!
Never give up! No matter how bad things look!
"In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury." Proverbs 14:23
Nothing is gained for those that turn away unless they see something gained in their hands. Many times you won't see anything for some time. Don't lose hope, keep the faith, and continue the work, knowing that all labor has a profit!
Second chances do come and what we do with them determines our success, but to look back at failure is to not see the chance in front of us. We need to take the chance with a grateful heart and an open and excited mind towards this opportunity to succeed!
Abraham’s Reward – Oval Obedience!
“And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an Altar unto the Lord. Who appeared unto him.” Genesis 12:7
"Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” Deuteronomy 13:4
Well, it is one thing to believe in Jesus, and an entirely different challenge to cleave to him as you believe. To walk after Jesus is to walk in his footsteps, to do the things that he did, such as having compassion upon the multitudes and preaching the word wherever we go. To cleave to him is not only walking the walk and talking the talk, but it is to stick to him and adhere to his words. We are to be like glue that is stuck to our Master. We should obey and serve despite how the world views us. Love for the world always works to separate us from Jesus, so we always have to be on guard and not allow anything in this world to keep us from loving Him.
If we are sticking close to Jesus then we will never be separated. The command to cleave to him is for our good so that our enemy who desires to sift us like wheat does not devour us. Why be so heavenly minded, so zealous for God, and so close to Jesus? Because the devil wants to separate us and pull us apart from God in order to serve him.
It has been said, All we like sheep have gone astray, this happens because just like sheep we keep our heads down instead of looking at Jesus and cleaving to Him, we forget to ask ourselves, where am I, am I cleaving closely to Jesus today?
This nugget is an egg-shaped oval because sometimes obedience doesn’t come in the nicest shape or package, but obedience is a major key to success. The Webster’s Dictionary defines obey as follows: “to carry out orders of, to be guided by.” Herein rests a critical element of an effective leader. The question now is who and what shall one obey?
Let’s suppose that Abraham had not obeyed God and instead began to consult his inner self about whether or not picking up all of his belongings and instructing all of his family and household to do the same, was a good idea! Especially when he didn’t know where they would go! Was this a good idea?
Why would a loving God tell someone to put his whole family at risk to do the unknown and uncertain?
What are the possible outcomes if Abraham chose to do it a way that made sense to everyone else, what if he decided that he was going to get some council from someone that has training in this field and put God on hold until he found someone that could or would agree with God that this is what he should do? I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone!
Remember Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not yet seen.”
1Samuel 15:22, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord. Behold to obey is better than sacrifice.”
So why would anyone obey what seems to be something that doesn’t make sense or as they say, “common sense”?
Let me tell you why Abraham obeyed. Abraham didn’t know where he was going, he didn’t know what to do next, and Abraham was looking for answers. Are you looking for answers to questions like,
How can I be successful? What are the keys to success? What are effective habits that will help me?
Abraham had questions too, but Abraham knew who had the answers! God has the answers. Do you want your questions answered? God can give the answers to you because he has a plan for your life!
Let’s say that again! God has a plan for your life! God had a plan for the world and Abraham was right there in the world’s plan!
If Abraham had not obeyed God, if Abraham had not surrendered to God’s plan then the world as we know it would not be the same. It is through Abraham that the world became populated. “Unto thy seed will I give this land.”
Again, that was the plan for the population of the whole earth!
What seemed to be a ridiculous and possibly destructive and highly risky plan was in fact the beginning of the population of all mankind that exists today!
This is why we obey, because the one who we obey has the plan!
God holds the plans for your future, so do you think it wise to obey and follow his orders?
Obedience is better than sacrifice because obedience follows
God’s plan, while anything less than obedience ignores it.
Don’t ignore God’s plan for your life, and then ask, how can I be successful? Without obedience we can’t!
When the Lord said unto Abraham get thee out, Abraham went!
“Now the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of the country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.” Genesis 12:1
Out of the country, away from any other source of dependency, and totally surrendered to faith in God.
Acknowledge that God has a plan for you, acknowledge that His plan is greater than yours, and acknowledge that you need Him.
Choose no other.
Listen to no other.
Obey no other.
"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." Hebrews 11:8
This is a very interesting scripture because it leads us to presume that if we act in faith God will lead us to where he wants us to go! Is this foolishness? Foolishness is not obeying God! Abraham was told to do something and although he did not know the plan and all of the details, he obeyed God. We will not always know the plan, we will not always be told the details, and we will have to deal with the fears of not knowing if we are going to obey God.
Obedience is better than sacrifice, what will we sacrifice to obey?
Well at the onset we sacrifice personal security maybe, until we totally rest in the fact that God has our back. It is not foolish to trust God, it is not foolish to step out in faith even when you don’t know all things or have a comfortable seat to sit in. Just obey God and it will be settled!
“Faith is the substance of all things!”
What will be your choice, His success, or your plan?
“And I will make of thee a great nation, I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing!” Genesis 12:2
World Population through Abraham!
Who’s your Daddy?
"Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all." Romans 4:16
To the unbelieving, to the uncertain, and to the doubtful we present to you today this question, "who's your daddy?" If you say any other than Abraham I remind you of God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 and also this verse where Paul has called Abraham, "the father of us all." Why is this important? Because through Abraham we all are related and have common ground. Because of the faith that Abraham had in God and because of his obedience to God's call even at the wonderful age of 75 and despite not knowing where he should go or anything about God's plan, he obeyed God and was rewarded for his obedience. What was his reward? To be the father of us all! He was a great leader of people that started a revolution against paganism and all unbelievers and replaced this with three of the world's major religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
There is one God and Jesus is his name!
We all come from that same God and not any statue or other hand-made object. Give God his due and recognize who your Daddy is!
"And I will make of thee a great nation, I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing." Genesis 12:2 God is able to reward you for your faith and obedience to His call.
God rewards obedience! Through obedience the world is changed and we will see great success!
“But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” Jeremiah 7:23
If we obey God and his righteousness we shall have great success!
Abraham’s Obedience=Abraham’s reward
- Founder of a new nation
- Victory over Paganism
- Father of the World’s three great religions
- Realized the vision of God for his life
- The Father of us all
Isaac’s Mission – Living Sacrifice!
“And Isaac spake unto Abraham his Father, and said, My Father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Genesis 22:7
Are you willing to make some sacrifices? What about the sacrifice of self? Do you want it bad enough? Is it worth your efforts? All these questions and more must be considered if we desire success in our life. Many times we have to pay the price! What is the price of success? Sacrifice! Sacrifice is to give up some things for the sake of others. Often, we have to give up ourselves for the sake of others.
Sacrifice for others!
"Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Many people have heard about what God has done for them. In John 3:16 it reads,
" For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whomsoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Many have heard this, but have not taken time to meditate on what this means. It means love. God's great love has been sent to us and it has been poured out for us. It is the greatest love that could ever be given and God has set this love as a banner over our life. How great is our God? That He would give to us His only begotten son and that His son would give His life to save his friends. Do you know that you are his friend? Jesus is your friend! He is this constant banner of love that flies above your life every day. This banner of love is a reminder to us that in that midnight hour of our fear, when we may not feel Him standing near, we can lift our eyes above, and see this banner of love! Jesus loves you!
Are you going through hard times today? Lift your head high, God loves you! Are you worried about the future? Lift your head high and remember Jesus loves you! He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
“Then Jesus said unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Mathew 16:24
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38, 39 God's banner flies high everyday above our life, just look up and give Him praise!
Do you desire success in life? Deny yourself and get ready to set your hands to the plow!
Success in life won’t just jump from the sky and fall into your lap, it requires sacrifice!
Checklist for the Win!
Prioritize what matters the most
Count the Cost of what it will take
Deny yourself and become a Living Sacrifice
What matters the most?
After serving almost six years in the Military I learned that the priority was always Mission first. With God his mission is to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10
When determining what matters the most we must consider what we are willing to give to make what matters most our number one priority.
What matters the most to God is souls and in keeping with counting the cost, he became the sacrificial lamb who gave his life for us on the cross. He was the man that gave! He is the leader that became the Living Sacrifice.
LOVE IS PRIORITY
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1Corinthians 1:9
It seems that we often sell ourselves short and it could be because our aspirations are based upon what we think we can achieve. The old adage, "The sky is the limit" is not true, so what is the limit? Philippians 3:14 inspires us to reach higher, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." What is that mark and its prize for reaching it? While the prize gives reference to Eternal Life with Christ Jesus in heaven, it also includes many of the greatest things in life, such as the best of the land, that perfect mate, the will of God, and the surprising accomplishments that only God knows about and has prepared for us! We are closing in on another Graduation Ceremony, another promotion opportunity, another great achievement for God and for others. It's now time to take another look, is it really all that God has intended for us? God intends for you and I to move on towards our hopes and dreams, and towards His mark.
God has a great plan for you and me! There is no limit, it is His mark, and He will reward us with His prize. Rethink it all, and re-establish your mark of success. Do not settle for less!
Do not sell yourself short, you are more than anything that you have imagined yourself to be, and your life will be more than what is seen now. You have set your love on Jesus and He has a great plan for you. Our vision and our understanding, is limited, but God has so much more prepared for us!
"For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee.
LOVE IS PRIORITY! PURE RELIGION IS LOVE!
THERE IS NO SUCCESS WHERE THERE IS NO LOVE!
LOVE IS SACIFICE! A SACRIFICE OF SELF FOR OTHERS!
ISAAC GAVE HIMSELF FOR OTHERS!
A highly effective person will give themselves for others! God saw that we needed this and he gave!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on him would receive eternal life.” John 3:16
Isaac didn’t know that he would become an example of giving; he just obeyed his father and surrendered his life to a purpose greater than himself. He became:
A LIVING SACRIFICE!
In doing a quick recap we discover that leadership and success up to this point depends on the following:
- Staying the course
- Making a choice for right
- Not listening to the Nay-Sayers voice
- Standing firm without doubt
- Obeying what is right
- Setting priorities
- Making the sacrifice
Periodically throughout this book we will review the characteristics required to achieve the greatest success in life.
Whatever it takes is a principle that is aggressive. It determines that we are willing to lay down the road to get there despite obstacles that seem to stand in the way.
If it takes your sacrifice are you willing? Are you willing to give your all to affect the lives of many?
Are you willing to pray, to serve, to deny yourself, to take the hard road, and to choose the right over what others will say?
He who loses his life shall find it
“He that finds his life shall lose it and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.” Mathew 10:39
This speaks of focus and the requirements of a single mind and a forward vision.
We are not here merely to make a living.
We are here to enrich the world.
When we see the end, when our focus is on the vision that leads us to success, when we can see past our life in the “now” and unto the goals that we have set according to the vision that is before us, then we lose our life and accept our responsibility in life for a greater purpose.
The world depends on highly successful people. Your purpose is in this! You can and will be a highly successful person!
Your season of success is here now!
Nehemiah’s Project – Building for, We!
To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.
Hard work for all intensive purposes never hurt anyone! What’s it all about is what hurts us, are we building for me or for we? Do we consider the way of the ant only to make it something big for ourselves? When we actually study the way of the ant as it is written in Proverbs 6:5-7, we learn that the ant is a team, it is “we” over me,
And the ant is straightway focused on the goal and is ever moving towards its purpose.
Proverbs 6:5-7, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,”
Proverbs 30:24-26, “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer.”
It’s time to roll up the sleeves if it is determined that you will succeed. There are one million or more excuses, “but you don’t understand you say!” Maybe you are prevented from physical labor for some reason, if so then your work is spiritual, maybe it’s prayer? Still we can’t sit idle and expect things to happen.
James tells us that our faith is dead without works, “Faith if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 1:17
To reach a port we must sail, to reach a goal we must work!
But who and what are we working for? Our motives are everything so do we desire and have not because our goals are amiss?
Thought is the seed of action.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Why do we want to succeed? Do we desire accolades, fame, riches, or glory?
We can’t expect to build for ourselves and consume all of our gains upon only ourselves and be successful because it will be soon torn down. Nothing last that doesn’t have a righteous purpose. If we desire to be successful what will we do with our success? Think about many successful people and what they do with their gains. Can you name a few?
Nehemiah had a purpose, his heart was sad and hurting so severe because Jerusalem had no walls and the people had no home and no place to go. So he desired to achieve a goal and that goal was the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, now where in this did he desire to achieve fame, glory, riches, and self serving things?
Nehemiah teaches us how to be successful through:
“And they said unto me, the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 1:3, 4
Many people know that a passionate person can be successful, but how many know that a compassionate person will be successful?