"My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity."
What if I told you that I had the secrets to success? Would you believe me? Well, as I was reading one of my favorite chapters in the Bible yesterday morning, Proverbs 3, I felt like that was the way God summarized what this chapter is all about.
First of all, let's think about success? What comes to mind when you think about success? Abunant finances, thriving relationships, physically healthy, Security & peace, happy life....the list could go on and on...here are 7 ways God defines success and the paths to walking towards them.
1. Long life and financial prosperity:
Proverbs 3:1-2 says, "My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity."
God's Word is alive and active. There is actually something powerful that happens to our unseen eye when we know, follow and hide God's Word in our heart. It is medicine to our minds, body and soul. It brings us peace and following God's ways opens the door to abundance!
2. Favored by God and Man:
Proverbs 3:3-4 says, "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man."
Operating in God's love never fails. It's always the right choice. This love isn't always easy, but it always seeks to help others whether that's giving an encouraging word or even hard word of truth in love to get them back on the right path. Seek to please man and you will not please either.....Seek to please God and you will please both God and man.
3. Straight Path:
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "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.
Trusting in God can be extremely hard at times since it mostly involves denying emotions and feelings. It's easy to think you are headed in the right direction based on what feels right. But God calls us to a higher level of faith. It is an absolute priviledge to trust Him and the rewards on the other side of faith are a joy that's beyond comprehension. God will always lead you on the right way when you submit to His will, ways and timing.
4. Physical Health:
Proverbs 3:7-8 says, "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones."
Pride will make you feel like you can do anything yourself. It will make you tell God that His way sounds good, but yours sounds better. When we submit to His ways it brings inner and outer health. I have experienced this over and over again especially in the area of forgiveness. Everytime I choose to harbor bitterness and not forgive, it always makes me physically feel terrible. The moment I give it to God and forgive, it's like a weight is lifted off. Don't be wise in your own eyes, choose God's ways and stay healthy!!
5. Abundant Posessions:
Proverbs 3:9-10 says, "Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine."
God calls us to be obedient in our finances to give Him 10% of the first of that He gives us. It's not that He wants something from us (believe me, He has ALL the resources in the entire world) but that He wants something for us. He knows that when we submit to Him in the area of our finances, we are trusting that He can do more with the 90% He gave us than 100%. And we get to see a miracle of multiplication each and every time we give. I can testify this is true as I have seen God do the miraculous over and over again. He is always faithful. He loves to bless us, but we cannot keep our finances with closed fists. Open hands and an open heart to give and to receive!!
6. Good Return on Investment:
Proverbs 3:13-14 says, "Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold."
Did you realize that it was God's wisdom, understanding and knowledge that created, designed and constructed the heavens and earth? And God offers this same wisdom to us if we will seek Him for it! That's pretty incredible. Just look around at creation to see what a good return on investment wisdom is. Seek it and pursue finding it like buried treasure! God is wisdom!
Proverbs 3:21-23 says, "My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble."
God's ways are our protection. It's hard to see that sometimes when following God feels unsafe. It feels risky. It feels costly. That's because His ways aren't of this world. So when we compare them to the ways of the world, they are. But God's ways are actually the safest for us because God loves us and is always working things out for our good as we look to Him.
Proverbs 3 is full of nuggets of truth for abundant living. I encourage you to read the whole chapter and be blessed! God is so amazing to have given us His Word and promise of how to live the abundantly blessed life with Him on this earth!