What determines today if you are a success?  Is it our preparation?  Is it our hard work?  Is it just luck?  Today, what determines our success?  What is it that makes us a success?

I was thinking about that today when I read one of the Psalms for this morning.  Listen to what David writes in Psalm 127: 1-2:

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives sleep to his beloved.

1429037342_success-kid-meme-lgYou can build the biggest house you want.  But unless the Lord builds it, it is in vain.

You can stand guard.  But unless the Lord keeps watch, it is in vain.

You can wake early and work and worry.  But don’t fret, the Lord gives sleep.

Success doesn’t come from our hand alone.  But it comes from the Lord.  Now, this isn’t a thought not to work hard.  No, work hard, be faithful.  Give your full effort.  In the Garden, one of the first things the Lord did was He gave Adam a task.  Work is good.  Having a purpose is very, very good.

But life is not just about our efforts.  It’s about living out of God’s strength and God’s purpose and God’s mercy.  Remember that.

And I’ll tell you what happens to me.  When I remember that all I have to do is do my best, and leave the rest up to God, it makes me more efficient.  It helps me accomplish more.  it helps me work even better.

Why?  Because I know it’s all His.  It’s all up to Him.  It’s His world, we are His people.  I know it’s all for His glory, so I’m going to do the very best that I can in all things.  For Him. For His glory and praise.  As my act of faithfulness to Him.

So today, don’t worry. Don’t stress.  Don’t obsess.  Just be faithful.  Do your task, do you duty, do what you should.

Don’t eat the bread of anxious toil.  It is God that is at work in all things.  Trust in Him, lean on Him and He will be the world that enables and empowers us in all things!

Be faithful.  Trust God.  All will be well.

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What Success Looks Like

Sometimes in scripture, God ask people to do crazy things. He told Noah to build a big boat when it wasn’t even raining, and hadn’t rained in years.

He told Abraham to leave his home and go to place that God would show him.

Jesus asked the disciples to leave behind their jobs and their identities and families to follow Him.

God calls us to things that can be seen as odd and challenging for Him sometimes. Look at what he calls Ezekiel to today.  Listen to Ezekiel 33:31-33:

And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain. And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it. When this comes—and come it will!—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

He tells him, you are going to be a prophet. You are going to speak and they are going to come and listen to you. They will know that what you are saying is right. They will hear all these words.

But they won’t do them. God is telling him – you are going to say these things – and no one is going to pay you any attention.

This is not the success that we would like to think about. Succes in God’s eyes is not “success.” It’s being faithful.

God called Ezekiel today to be faithful. To preach. To prophesy. To do what God had called him to. And to leave the results up to God.

What a great notion. Today, for us, success is to just be faithful. To all that we can do to be faithful to God and to His calling. That’s success. That’s victory. That’s what it looks like.

Even though no one did what Ezekiel told them to do, he was successful. Because he was faithful.

Today, let’s be faithful. In that, we will find the success that God wants us to have!

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