I am going against the flow of today’s view of success with an old idea. An idea that people will frown upon and scoff at because it will be an upopular personal stance about my perspective of success.
My view of success is that it comes from God.
But people will always find it easier to say that success is because of hard work, connections, their education, their investment or even luck. However – sadly I think most people will find it hard to attribute success as God-given.
Watching the recent Oscar Academy awards or even other such awards, rarely would you hear anyone acknowledge God for their win (it is odd though that when I saw the UFC fight between Dos Anjos and Pettis and Dos Anjos won – he thanked Jesus Christ – probably no one will dare rebuke an MMA fighter for voicing out his faith!)
In the scriptures, we read about Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob or Israel as he would later be known.
He was well favored by his father because he was his first born child with the love of his life, Rachel. One should note however the attitude of Joseph. He showed he was faithful to his father as a shepherd. He was the one who reported back to his father about the mischief done by his elder brothers. (Gen. 37:2)
When Joseph was sold into slavery by his envious brothers and came to Egypt, in the household of Potiphar, God was with him and in all that Joseph did, he prospered. The fruits of Joseph’s labor caught the attention of his master that he entrusted him with more work (Gen. 39:4).
When Joseph was imprisoned because of his master’s wife’s false accusations, God was with him and the prison keeper saw this that he placed all the prisoners under Joseph’s care. (Gen. 39:22)
When Joseph stood in front of Pharaoh to interpret the king’s dream, Joseph made it clear that what he does comes from the Lord – the interpretation is not of himself but of the LORD. (Gen. 41:16)
When Joseph revealed himself to his brethren, he told them that the events that befell him – both what seemed good and bad in the eyes of men are of God’s doing (Gen. 45:5,7).
The common factor here is that God was with Joseph, Joseph found favor in God’s eyes and blessed him. Joseph’s works were rewarded by God because the people around him saw the the LORD was with Joseph (Gen. 39:3).
How does one who may not have known who God is understand that the works of our hands are of the LORD?
They saw these through our works. Such magnificent truth presented here – that Faith without Works is DEAD.
The FAITH of Joseph despite what seems to be misfortunes seen by the human mind was not upon his circumstances, it was not upon his fate, he did not complain why being a favored son, he became a slave in a foreign land. He did not complain for being thrown into prison. He never complained or murmured against God and present his case to him. He just continued to work and rest upon his Faith upon the LORD.
And at that opportunity to show his good work, he said it was not of himself but it was because of God.
And at the opportunity to blame others and remind them of their wrong, still he attributes it to God – another truth – all things work for good for those who are in the LORD.
TRUE SUCCESS comes from the LORD.
When Joseph looked after the flock of his father, he never acted as if these were his.
When Joseph looked after Potiphar’s household and field, he never acted as if he owned all these.
When Joseph became the overseer in prison, he did not act as if he was the prison keeper.
When Joseph was appointed second in command in Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh, he never acted to be a king of Egypt.
How did Joseph act? He was a STEWARD. A faithful servant of God who exhibited exceptional leadership.
Look at the works of your hand right now. Are you in charge with little or great things? Are you handling your own business or working for an organization? Do the people around you see the fruit of your labor? Will they say that he/ she is with the LORD because they see the quality of your work? In your success, do you ever realize who truly is responsible? In your failure,do you blame others or have ever thought that it may also be due to God?