The Definition of Success


What is success? What are its indicators? As a younger minister, I was driven by all the definitions from the “professional church community”. According to the “experts”, a certain number in worship attendance defined success. Or the amount of money collected defined success. According to these criteria, I was successful in some churches and unsuccessful in others. 

What does God say about success? Does it have anything to do with money or personal possessions? Can you be broke and be successful in God’s economy? I’ll let you decide based upon the only verse where the word “success” is used in Scripture.

Joshua 1:8 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” God says nothing about possessions. God measures success by what you and I do with the Word of God. Do we meditate on and obey Scripture? If the answer is yes, then we are measured by God as successful. If the answer is no, we may only be successful by the world’s standards. God won’t care about the money we made nor the accolades nor the accomplishments in our workplace if we were not obedient to Him. 

Based on God’s definition, what do you want for your life? Do you want to waste your time with attention, possessions, and things that won’t go with you when you die? Or would you prefer to potentially do without these things and focus on pleasing God? You can have both, but obedience to Christ outweighs anything else. Are you willing to pay the price for God-success?

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11 thoughts on “The Definition of Success

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  1. Today’s one of those days when one coincidence is following another. For example, at 9 a.m., I tuned in to a Darrell Scott sermon, and he said: “Salvation does not destroy the old creation. … You don’t say, ‘Bye-bye stubborn belly fat.’ … Salvation *transforms* the old creation into a new creation.”

    That paralleled what the pastor at church said less than an hour later: “The cycle of Christianity is not make a big start and get it right once and from now on. Rather, it is a continual cycle of faith and repentance.”

    Now, your post parallels a TD Jakes sermon I listened to at 1:30: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYo4nn8m6Gs In short, it’s about being doers of the Word, not just hearers. As you said, “[O]bedience to Christ outweighs everything else.”

  2. [As another coincidence, I’m at a point in my checking account and testimony where I’m having to sell possessions. I sold my dead mother’s jewelry yesterday and my recumbent bike today. So your post was timely on multiple levels.)

    1. We can understand about having to make some adjustments though not as sentimental. I have some who are very close to me who are making such adjustments. It is painful. God has a way of teaching us through these moments. Let’s pray for each other as we are not financially where we want/need to be. May God guide and provide during this difficult season of our lives.

  3. obedience is better than sacrifice…not to obey is like witchcraft and idol worship says Samuel to Saul..thanks for your encouragement for the obedience to words for GODly success

  4. Yes, ACT-Accountable, Correctable, Teachable will bring us to succes in being useful vessels for the Lords kingdom and Glory.

    Stay FAT my brother.
    Faithful, Available, Teachable and we will succeed in attaining His Glory within us forevermore. Amen

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