The Secret to Success


Before we can know the secret to success we need to know what success is.

  1. The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted: attributed their success in business to hard work.

But what if that something desired, planned, or attempted doesn’t get you where you want to go? What if you achieved what you aimed for only to find that what you aimed for turned out to be something you don’t really want? How can we know what to aim for?

*   (Phil 4:8-9 NIV)  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. {9} Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

*    (Josh 1:8 NIV)  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

*   (1 Ki 22:5 NIV)  But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, "First seek the counsel of the LORD."

*   (Job 12:13 NIV)  "To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.

*   (Prov 15:22 NIV)  Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

So the first secret to success is to choose the right or righteous goal. Pray, meditate seek good counsel and have God on your side.

*   (2 Ki 18:5-7 NIV)  Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. {6} He held fast to the LORD and did not cease to follow him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses. {7} And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.

*   (1 Chr 22:13 NIV)  Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.

*   (2 Chr 26:3-5 NIV)  Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother's name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem. {4} He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. {5} He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.

Could it be more clear?

*   (Rom 8:31 NIV)  What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Once we have set the right goals then we did to proceed to accomplish our work to achieve those goals. There are tools that can help. Education is one example and God given talent is another.

*   (Eccl 10:10 NIV)  If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success.

Learning to get help is another tool that can help us succeed.

*   (Exo 18:14-21 NIV)  When his father-in-law (Jethro) saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, "What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?" {15} Moses answered him, "Because the people come to me to seek God's will. {16} Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God's decrees and laws." {17} Moses' father-in-law replied, "What you are doing is not good. {18} You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. {19} Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people's representative before God and bring their disputes to him. {20} Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. {21} But select capable men from all the people--men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain--and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

Sharing, teamwork, delegation are powerful tool achieve success. Many jobs could not be done without such tools. Here is an example from the early church that was recorded in Titus. It also illustrates the need for hierarchy.

*   (Titus 1:5-9 NIV)  The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. {6} An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. {7} Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. {8} Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. {9} He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Hierarchy is another important secret to success and the Bible gives us an example of hierarchy in the church.

*    (1 Cor 12:27-30 NIV)  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. {28} And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. {29} Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? {30} Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

Now let me relate what led me to talk about the secret of success. I was talking to Dolly the other day about the terrific job she does in a number of areas. I casually told her thanks for making me look good. That’s when I blurted out this little bit of wisdom. “You know, the secret to success is to surround yourself with the very best of people; competent and hardworking people.” The sad thing is that some people are afraid of doing that for fear they will look bad by comparison. The truth is that you will look bad if you don’t. I mentioned Dolly by name but I am blessed to have an entire congregation of such people. If I was to name you all I would surely miss someone so I will simply say I appreciate each and every one of you that have made me the luckiest Pastor in Grants Pass. You guys are the very best, competent and hardworking people. Thanks for making me look good.