WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 22, 2021
TOPIC: RECOGNIZING THE GOD FACTOR IN SUCCESS IN LIFE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:1-2 New King James Version).
King David was greatly acclaimed as a successful king with outstanding success in military campaigns, but he admitted that his success was not a result of his prowess. He tells us the secret of his success in his writings.
For instance, in Psalm 144:1, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, my Rock and my great strength,
Who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle;” (Amplified Bible). David was successful in wars because God was his teacher. The access he had to better teachings from God gave him an advantage! And God can’t be your teacher and you will fail ultimately in life.
The writer of Psalm 71:7 says, “I have become as a wonder to many, but You are my strong refuge” (NKJV). The Living Bible renders this verse thus: “My success – at which so many stand amazed – is because you are my mighty protector.” This does not mean that the psalmist did nothing, but everything he did would have amounted to nothing without God.
Do you want to succeed in life? Acknowledge God. 2 Kings 5:1 says by Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army, the LORD had given victory to Syria. Evidently, Naaman didn’t become victorious by staying at home; he went to the battlefield and the LORD helped him.
King Uzziah of Judah was a very successful king until he became proud. He was inflicted with leprosy and his glorious reign ended. He had well-equipped army and made devices in Jerusalem, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and large stones (2 Chronicles 26:11-15a). Nevertheless, we know from the Bible that his success was not due to anything extraordinary that he did. Verse 15b says, “his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong.” I pray that you, too, will be marvelously helped until you become successful.
The Bible says this of Isaac: “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him” (Genesis 26:12-14 New King James Version). What was the secret? God!
His phenomenal success was not a surprise. The LORD had told him to stay in that land and He would prosper him (Genesis 26:3-5). He obeyed God and did his normal work and his wealth increased astronomically.
Need I talk about Joseph? We see the God factor in his rise to greatness from being a slave. He succeeded in everything he did because the LORD was with him. Even his boss, Potiphar, noticed it (Genesis 39:2-3). The LORD was with him in prison (verse 21-23). Eventually, he became the prime minister. It doesn’t happen to everybody like that if not because God made it happen!
The apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (New King James Version).
Here we also see the secret of his success – labour and grace, not labour alone. Grace is unmerited favour, but it is also the power of God given to someone that causes him to do more than his natural ability. I pray that grace to succeed and excel despite all odds and even in the most unfavourable circumstances will rest on you today.
Paul acknowledged the contribution of God to his success just as David did. But compare these two people with Kings Rehoboam and Nebuchadnezzar; they failed to acknowledge the God factor in their success and paid dearly for it. Leading a successful life is doing all that you are supposed to do in partnership with God.
About King Rehoboam, the Bible says, “Now it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, that he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel along with him. And it happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD, with twelve hundred chariots, sixty thousand horsemen, and people without number who came with him out of Egypt — the Lubim and the Sukkiim and the Ethiopians. And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came to Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 12:1-4 New King James Version).
After Shemaiah the prophet told them the LORD said he left them in the hand of Shishak because they had forsaken Him, they humbled themselves and the LORD did not destroy them. However, He used Shishak to pour out His wrath on Jerusalem and made them his servants so that they could learn how much better it was to serve the LORD than to serve earthly rulers (2 Chronicles 12:5-8).
Shishak entered Jerusalem and took away all the treasures of the Temple of the LORD and the royal palace, including all of Solomon’s gold shields. Rehoboam replaced them with bronze shields and entrusted them to the care of the captain of his bodyguard. Whenever Rehoboam went into the Temple of the LORD, the guards would carry them along and then return them to the guardroom (2 Chronicles 12:9-11). This was the consequence of failing to acknowledge the God factor in success.
In Daniel 4:30, Nebuchadnezzar said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” (New King James Version). He failed to recognize that it was God who made him achieve the success he recorded.
Because he failed to humble himself, the dream he had twelve months earlier, and which Daniel had warned him about, came to pass. “While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (Daniel 4:30-32 New King James Version).
Seven seasons passed before he regained his sanity and he was restored to the throne. Then, he blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever. “For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (verses 34-35 New King James Version).
Whether you’re a gospel minister, politician, businessman, student, or whatever you are, recognize the God factor in success in life. Do not try to run the race in life without God. Acknowledge God; desire His contribution, no matter how swift you think you are. Therefore, “Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed” (New Living Translation).
When a man has done all that he knows to do, God’s support for him will make the difference. And after God has helped you don’t take the credit that is due to Him. Don’t share annoying testimonies that glorify your efforts and relegate God to the background. Yes, some testimonies could be irritating because some people blow their trumpets instead of magnifying God!
I love what King Cyrus of Persia said. Though he was a heathen king, he understood the God factor in success. He didn’t talk arrogantly like Nebuchadnezzar. He said, “All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah” (Ezra 1:2 New King James Version). Therefore, he said all the Jews could return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the LORD. He supported the project.
Solomon said, “I returned and saw under the sun that — The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11 New King James Version).
The New Living Translation renders the verse thus, “I have observed something else in this world of ours. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise are often poor, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being at the right place at the right time” (New Living Translation).
Another word for chance is luck, providence, or coincidence. Sometimes what people call coincidence, luck or chance is God! Someone has rightly said that coincidence is God’s way of making himself anonymous! For no other reason but God, some people happened to be at the right place at the right time and they were favoured. It was God, but people call that coincidence.
The devil makes some people be at the wrong place at the wrong time. That will not be your case in Jesus’ name. You will be at the right place at the right time, doing the right thing. The right people will notice you.
The God factor is an essential ingredient for success in life. There was no reason for David to have defeated Goliath. All the factors were against David except the God factor. He was a young man; he had no military training. He was not enlisted in Israel’s army. He didn’t have any armour. Saul’s armour that was put on him was too big for him. He had no weapon but only a sling and five stones. But He had faith in the living God (1 Samuel 17:31-40).
On the other hand, Goliath was the Philistines’ champion. He had been in the army from his youth (1 Samuel 17:33). He had an intimidating stature as highlighted in 1 Samuel 17:4-7. He had a bronze helmet on his head and was armed with a coat of mail. The weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze.
Also, he had bronze armour on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. The staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam. His iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels and a shield-bearer went before him. Goliath’s sight was frightening. How could anyone go and confront such a terrifying figure?
David was the only Israelite who believed he was no match for him. Consequently, the LORD delivered Goliath into his hand, as David had said. He killed him with his (Goliath’s) own sword after the stone from his sing had hit him in the forehead, making him fall face downward (1 Samuel 17:49-51).
If God is against someone, it doesn’t matter who is supporting Him. Both of them will fail. Conversely, if God is for you, it makes no difference who is against you (Romans 8:31). Psalm 75:7 says God is the Judge: He puts down one and exalts another.
That doesn’t mean that you should fold your arms and do nothing. God doesn’t approve of laziness or idleness. The Bible condemns it. But recognizing the God factor means that you need His support for all your efforts to be productive. Jesus said, “For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5b New King James Version).
Solomon understood this very well. Perhaps because he built a Temple for God that took him 7 years and his palace project, which lasted 13 years. He said, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:1-2 New King James Version). The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22).
Recognize the God factor in success. No one will succeed by strength alone (1 Samuel 2:9b). The psalmist says no king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength (Psalm 33:16). Verse 17 adds that a horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31 New King James Version).
Recognize the God factor in success.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I acknowledge You as my source. You are my glory and the lifter up of my head. I give You the credit for everything I have achieved. I ask for more divine partnership and participation in my life. I receive the grace to achieve more. Father, crown all my efforts with success. I promise to return all the glory to You.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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