“For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” -God Joshua 1:8
This may sound like heresy to some, but to those who take the bible for what it says know that it is true. Much more depends on you than you might think.
Now don’t get me wrong. I know that all things come from God. We can’t breathe without Him, etc. But at the same time, the message of the bible is so simple: ‘do what God says and be blessed; don’t do what God says and you won’t be blessed.’ Don’t let anyone deceive you away from the simplicity of the gospel. I say this because some would have you to believe that God is in control of your actions. That’s stupid. Don’t believe it. You are responsible for your own actions and your own sin. And don’t let someone give you some ridiculous explanation of how God is in control of our actions but we are still responsible for them. It’s not in the bible.
Jesus said it this way, “Do this and you shall live,” thus laying the responsibility on us. And you will find the same thing in every book of the bible.
Contrary to popular belief, there are some things that God cannot do. One of them is to lie. So you can be sure that if He says something that He means it. It also means that He limits Himself by His own words. For example, God cannot flood the world again. Why? Because it’s impossible for Him? No, He could do it in heartbeat, but because He said He would not do it, He will not do it. In fact, He cannot do it because He cannot lie. That’s not hard to understand, is it?
I said all this because we need to understand that God can only operate within the bounds of His own word. He cannot violate what He has said. This actually limits God in a lot of ways. It doesn’t limit Him in the sense that He doesn’t have the power to do things, but in a legal sense. And also in a practical sense, for if God knows all, why would (or could) He say anything that He would need to change His mind about?
The only time that God seems to change His mind is in regards to man’s actions and/or prayers. But He’s not really changing His mind, He is simply responding to man the way He said He would based off of their actions. (read Jer 18:1-10 for example.)
So, how does all of this apply to your level of success in life? It simply means that if want the blessings of God, we need to do what He says.
Success for me is to be as close to God as I possibly can. What should I do, wait for God to come close to me? No, I need to do what the bible says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).” I need to move, I need to take the step, I need to pray, I need to read the bible, etc. Of course the Holy Spirit will help me. That’s because He is the “Helper.” He’s not the “I’ll do it for you-er.” No, you’ve got to do it, He will help you do it.
Do you want success in business? Do you want success in your marriage? Do you want success in your ministry? It’s not up to God, it’s up to you. You need to find out what God requires you to do and do it!
Don’t live in delusion. I know that if I fail in business, it’s not because of God, it’s because of me. It’s because I didn’t follow Joshua 1:8. If your church doesn’t grow it’s not because “it wasn’t God’s will.” No, you aren’t doing something right. You aren’t lining yourself up with God’s word. You are missing it somewhere. You need to figure out where you are missing it and correct yourself. I know it’s easier and more comfortable to throw everything over on to God, but it’s not the truth. The Word is the truth.
Please don’t misunderstand me, it’s really God who does it all, but it’s our obedience that activates it. For example, I tell people that I flew from Jacksonville, Fl, to Baltimore, MD. But I didn’t really fly there. I didn’t flap my arms with my own power to get there. The plane flew me there. But if I had not been obedient to the rules of the airport I would have never gotten anywhere. I would still be sitting in Jacksonville Airport!
It’s the same way with God. We need to line up with His word. If we don’t, we limit what He can do in our lives, because he can’t cross the boundary of what He has said.