We’ve all seen self-help books assuring us that they have THE formula for success. Thing is, they can vary widely in terms of methods and standards, but the one thing they have in common is advocating persistence and perseverance to what they think is “IT”.
Those of us who are believers know that the Bible is God’s handbook for living, and we need to understand how to rightly apply its words to any challenge we encounter in life. That’s sometimes easier said than done because society’s standards and God’s standards can differ, and it takes choosing God’s standard and way to ensure spiritual success. In addition, scripture is spiritually discerned, which means believers need to be led by and connected to God the Holy Spirit to truly understand what’s said and its personal application.
It’s best to let God’s word speak for itself. Here are three very instructive, insightful scriptures that you can live and follow to be spiritually successful:
Micah 6:8 (NKJV)
8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Okay, Micah 6:8 seems pretty self-explanatory, but is it really? For example, how can God show you what is good unless you can follow His lead and have your spiritual eyes opened? Are you spirit-filled and spirit-led? That’s vital because scripture is spiritually discerned, and it’s God the Holy Spirit who guides us into understanding what’s written. So, being connected to and being led by God is essential for spiritual success.
The same thing applies to understand what doing justly means to God. How can you love mercy unless you can perceive mercy spiritually?
Have you experienced God’s mercy? Are you merciful towards others? Finally, what does it mean to walk humbly with God? Those that are humble are teachable and don’t think they know it all. Does that describe you? Do you walk with God as He leads or do you expect God to walk with you? Sometimes, the difference can appear to be subtle, but it’s a great question to keep asking yourself.
Scripture tells us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. Yes, that was given in context of appropriately celebrating communion, but it’s certainly applicable here. In essence, is what you seek communion with God? Is that part of what makes a spiritually successful believer?
Matthew 22:37-39 (NKJV)
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
How about it? Do you live God’s spiritual law of love towards Him, others and self? Do you know what living that way looks like? Matthew 25:34-40 gives you an idea.
27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
To be sure, there is a simplicity that is Christ, and this verse illustrates that. What does visiting orphans and widows in their trouble look like? Again, Matthew 25:34-40 illustrates that beautifully.
What does it mean to keep oneself unspotted from the world? It means living God’s spiritual law of love towards Him, others and self. It means that where there’s a conflict between what man’s way or law says and what God’s way dictates, we follow God’s way regardless of the personal penalties or persecution that may bring.
Currently, there is a Sudanese sister in Christ who refuses to renounce her faith, and she has received a death sentence from the Muslim government because they have falsely accused her of apostasy. Meriam Ishag may indeed become a martyr, but she is unspotted from the world in God’s eyes.
There are other instances of persecution for following God’s way in the US. These involve issues of spiritual conscience where Christians in business have been ordered to provide goods and services in situations that conflict with their beliefs. Not only that, they have to pay a monetary fine. It’s not that those seeking cakes for same sex joinings can’t get them elsewhere, the courts have decided it’s discriminatory not to provide services based on someone’s decision to live sexually apart from the way God created him to live and love. I openly and willingly share with you that I won’t perform a same sex so-called marriage (it’s actually a counterfeit of marriage the way God created it) regardless of societal penalty or persecution. God always comes first.
Bottom line: Jesus said if they persecuted Him, they will persecute us. Regardless of how society sees you or me, how God sees us is what matters. Being a spiritually successful Christian is not easy, but I’m sure you join with me in longing to hear those words in Matthew 25:34. To the kingdom!
Father God, help me to be a successful Christian in Your sight. I long to hear Matthew 25:34 when I meet You, Jesus, God the Holy Spirit and all the angels who have such a part to play in our spiritual present and future. Help me to be love as You are and to live that love so that others can be blessed and touched by it. Help me to walk where You walk and to work where You work. Thanks so much for calling me into Your work. Thanks for giving me spiritual eyes that see into eternity. In Jesus’ name, amen.