Monday, September 6, 2010

Reaching Out For Success Successfuly (Part 2)

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 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.” Joshua 1:7~8


What does it take to become successful? Money? Connections? Looks? Talents? Education? Smart? Guts? Attitude?

All of the above might help, but it won’t necessarily guarantee your success. So what does it really take to become successful?

Your ability to succeed is like the Earth; it has layers. The crust consists of your learned skills, acquired knowledge and external plus factors. The mantle is your habit, your instinct and your talent. The core represents the choices that you make that put you closer to your goal. This is the most important aspect of your success. Even if you have the external factors and talents, but if your decisions sabotage your chances of success, and blow every opportunity that comes your way, then it’s safe to say that you won’t get so far.

Numerous books have been written about various skills, body of knowledge, habits and talents, so I won’t go there. Instead I will settle on the core of success – the decisions you make.

According to our Master Craftsman as written in Book of Joshua 1:7~8, there are three important decisions that you and I have to make in order to become successful – to choose to be strong, to be courageous and to be righteous. That's right, these are choices not attributes.

Be Strong
On your way towards your goals and dreams in life, problems will surely come. Not only that, to permanently solve most of your problems, you need to make changes in your life, in yourself. For example, if you are buried in debt, in order to pay off your debt you have to find extra income, and become more disciplined with your spending. Both would require changes in your life.

Problems by itself can cause emotional, psychological and physical stress, discomfort, and pain. So does change. This is one reason why it is not easy to succeed.

How many times did you try to do something new; something that you think will be good for you? Maybe you started to jog, attempted to quit smoking and boozing, tried to stop doping, etc. but could not sustain it because the discomfort and pain of deprivation was just too much to bear.

God says that to be successful you must patiently bear the discomfort along the way. In short, you have to be strong even when you feel like quitting.

Here’s the good news. God did not leave us on our own. He said, “Come to me those who are weary and I will give you rest.” When you’re tired and weary in your toil, you can rest in Jesus and surely ease will descend upon you. I know because I've tried it.

Be Very Courageous
On your way towards your goals and dreams in life, doubts and fears will surely creep into your heart and mind. People may say discouraging things to you, discouraging thoughts may shroud your mind, and things may not turn out as you expected.

Yet doubt and fear come to all of us from time to time, but we don’t have to drink its paralyzing poison. There is a better choice – choose to be courageous.

Courage doesn’t mean absence of fear; it means presence of trust. To be courageous is to trust. To whom should we trust?

If your trust is anchored on yourself alone then your anchor is settled on very unstable ground. A single blow to your ego could end your quest. If your trust is anchored on other people alone then be prepared for disappointment because like you they are not perfect. The good news is that there is a better choice – put your trust in the Almighty God for He is perfect and stable. He is faithful, just and holy.

God said that to become successful you have to choose to move forward even if others are in doubt because in your heart you believe that whatever adversities that lies ahead God is with you to walk you through it.

Be Righteous
This is where a lot of people go astray. Many believe that to thrive and succeed in this world you have play by its rules even if it's against our Creator's rules. And should you play by God’s rules, you have to be selective; choose only what is convenient, and self-serving.

God says, “Love me with all your heart and mind,” but man says, “I love myself above all else.” God says, “Keep holy the Sabbath,” man says, “I will open my business even on Sundays because I don’t want to lose money.” God says, “Do not lie,” man says, “I’m in business and marketing.” God says, “Though shall not commit adultery,” man says, “Are you kidding me?” God says, “Forgive,” man says, “After my anger is quenched.” God says, “Love the poor and the helpless,” man says, “Yuck! They’re dirty and disgusting.” And so on.

I know for a fact that there are those who instinctively believe that if they play by God’s rule they will lose. (I was one.) But God promised that if you do what is right in His eyes (not based on the standard of the world) then you will become successful and prosperous. Now whom will you believe?

If you choose to believe in God as I do, then I have good news for you. God did not leave us in the dark to feel our way. He sent His only son, Jesus Christ, not only to save us but also to teach us His ways, and His as recorded in the the book called the Holy Bible. For us to succeed we need to study this Holy Book everyday, and follow its instructions all the time even if the world will be against us.

You know what? After you read this message choices will be put before you -- to act on this or to ignore this. Eventually, you will make a decision consciously or subconsciously. I pray that you make the right one because your success, and the future of those who depended on you may be defined in this single moment.

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