Let me share to you one big secret to attaining success in every aspect of life.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart
When we say trust, we mean that we believe in the reliability, truth, ability and strength of someone or something. Belief. You know how strong the power of belief is. Do you believe that everything that you have been reviewing is true? Do you believe in every lecturer, every professor, every fact, and every point that was made in your classes in school? Because belief is everything you ever need to live. Remember how Eve, believed in what the serpent said? Now that is the power of belief.
“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” – C.S. Lewis
Now if you believed in God, and you put your full trust in Him, then it is the beginning of success.
I find it curious though that we ought to trust the Lord with all our heart. Why the heart? Because trusting the Lord with all your heart is the sure fire way to defeat one tough tool of the enemy: fear.
In the book of Judges, the Lord’s people were overrun by the Medianites. He called out His man, Gideon, to raise up an army that will fend off these oppressors. The first part of the Lord’s process, was this: The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength. Therefore, tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.’” So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight.
The first criterion of God to choose the best men to fight for His cause was the absence of fear. The mere fact that you are afraid to face the enemy means that you do not trust your leader. Who was their leader, was it Gideon? No, Gideon was the speaker, God was calling all the shots. So now, if there is an ounce of fear in your heart, a tiny speck of doubt, it means that you have not trusted God enough to as you face your enemy.
In order for you to fully trust in God, you have take away your fear. It is the first thing that will break you and cause you to fail. We all have those thoughts of “What if this happened to me?” “What if I don’t succeed?” “What if my relationship wouldn’t work?” “What if this business will not be a hit?” A lot of our questions for the things that we want to be in, or plan to be in, comes from fear. When we are told to submit fully to God, it means we should not fear for the process or outcome because we know who is in control.
“The only things we can keep are the things we freely give to God. What we try to keep for ourselves is just what we are sure to lose.” – C.S. Lewis
Simply put, if you want to be successful in life, you have to entrust everything to God. AND I MEAN EVERYTHING!!
Lean Not on Your Own Understanding
What do you understand?
You may have read all the necessary reading materials, listened to and maybe even got close to all your professors, and even put in the extra hours studying and learning, yet at the end of it all, you understand nothing. Do you feel that right now? You want to know why? Because human understanding is limited. We say that we have a lot of information on the human body, or the celestial bodies, or our planet. But the truth is we are only fooling ourselves.
Simply put, human understanding is limited. Human knowledge is limited. Your knowledge, my knowledge has its limits. Therefore, it is not entirely reliable. Doctors, medical technologists, engineers, lawyers, have spent a lot of time studying and gaining knowledge. Yet despite the years, they still do not know enough. We should not be proud of what we know because everything that we know is limited. If you want success in life, do not take pride on your own understanding, knowledge and perception because all of those are limited.
“The Lord can do but little for the children of men, because they are so ready to esteem themselves wiser than their Creator. If blessed with a measure of success, many become elated and self-confident, and forget their dependence upon God. There is too much reliance upon human plans and methods, and too little faith in the mighty God of Jacob; too much machinery, and too little of the life-giving Spirit and power of the Most High.” – EGW.
Going back to Gideon, who would think for a second that this man was proud? When God found him, he was hiding away from the crowd threshing wheat while everyone was busy elsewhere. He thought of himself the smallest and weakest in the tribe, he never knew any rules of war. He even admitted that he was not a mighty man of valor. Yet those are the men that God wants. He does not want a great man with many achievements to lead He wants a man who would rely not on his wisdom but the Lord’s. This is because the Lord’s process seemed really out of this world. After asking the scared to go home, he then asked them something weird.
But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” Judges 7:4
If a mighty army general would look at God’s military strategy against the Midianites, the command of God truly did not make sense? Selecting men by the way they drank in the stream is totally outrageous. Armies are made by training the soldiers to be strong and capable of using any sort of weapons, but drinking? Most likely, an army general would not follow God because instruction didn’t make sense. But Gideon was not that man. He does not know how to strengthen an army. He is a simple farmer. So the only course of action is to obey God.
One sure fire way to attain success in life is never rely on yourself. Rely on the God who knows all strategies and techniques. Rely on the God who knows more than you. Total reliance on God in strategies and plans is a sure fire way to success.
In all your ways acknowledge Him
One thing that we need to remember is that we do not own everything that we have. We ought to remember that we are God’s and even everything that we see around us.
Thus in order for us to obtain success, we need to recognize who the source of success is. Every decision that we make we need to remember should be attributed to God. Every small mistake that we make is a lesson that the Lord needs to teach us.
But how exactly do you acknowledge Him? When you look back at how you have reached this point, ask yourself, is this my own doing? Have I reached this point of my career or my future career of my own power? If you acknowledge those successes and lessons in the past due to your own power, then you are in very deep danger. Remember that it was not you but God who made you pass all those subjects to be where you are right now. Remember that even the process of applying for a school, rearranging your papers for the board, and even the people surrounding you now to help you is the work of the Lord. Nothing was of your own doing. Often times you were just the instrument.
Now that you have looked back, look forward, what can the Lord do for you now? What can He make you do?
“When the people of God are wholly consecrated to him, then he will employ them to carry forward his work on the earth. But we should remember that whatever success may attend us, the glory and honor belongs to God; for every faculty and every power is a gift from him.”
Continuing the story of Gideon. Now that the army of a measly 300 soldiers was set, Gideon had the jitters. After all, he was not a military man. This was his first time to command an army and this army used the most unheard of weapons in the history of fighting: torches and pitchers. Because he was afraid, the Lord told him to sneak down the camp of the enemy and hear what they are talking there. There he overheard two soldiers talking about a dream they had. The dream was weird but the interpretation shocked Gideon. The dream involved bread being thrown into a tent that caused the tent to collapse. The soldiers interpreted it as God destroying their camp and giving it to the hands of Gideon. Gideon was surprised at how the Lord had already everything laid out that even the Midianite enemy believed that they will be defeated by the Lord’s hand. (Judges 7:9-14)
“God will not test our faith beyond endurance. He will give us sufficient evidence, that we may, in our weakness, lean upon the arm of his strength, and trust wholly in his power.”
E.G. White, Signs of the Times, June 30, 1881
Often times, we allow our fears and our worries to cloud and drown out our trust and faith. This leads us to acknowledge more of our strength that God’s. Gideon’s experience tells us that when we shift our focus from our own capabilities to the capabilities of God, we will discover that even those things that make life difficult for us has already been in God’s hands all along. When you acknowledge the Lord, you will surely find success. He is the sole source of success in this world and telling ourselves the huge fat lie that we did it on our own will just make us fail more.
He Shall Direct Your Path
This is the best assurance that you could ever have. Once you eliminated fear and learned to trust in Him; once you have taken off your pride and leaned on His understanding; and once you have acknowledged what He has done and what He could do to you, He promised that He will surely direct our paths.
We know how the story of Gideon ended. With just a measly number of men, God allowed them to defeat the Midianites and be successful in their campaign. They defeated 120,000 warriors of Midian. That is how the Lord rewards men and women who see Him as their only source of strength, knowledge and capabilities. With only 300 humble men whose trust and faith is all on their Creator, they were able to subdue the 120,000.
“If we would but fully believe this, all undue anxieties would be dismissed. With humble prayer and trusting faith, we would seek counsel from God in all our plans and purposes of life. Then all our acts would be governed by discretion, our energies would be rightly directed. Then our lives would not be so filled with disappointment as now; for everything, small or great, would be left in the hands of God, who is not perplexed by the multiplicity of cares, nor overwhelmed by their weight. We should then enjoy a rest of soul to which many have long been strangers.”
Ellen White, Steps to Christ
Friends, the real single secret to success is the Lord. We cannot be whatever we aspire to be at the right process, the right opportunity, the right timing and the right moment if we do not surrender everything to the one who can provide it all. We cannot see the beauty of success and be satisfied if we do not allow the God of success to handle and give it to us.
Remember the verse:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.