In a success-drunk culture, is it legitimate for us to ask God to give us success in finding a spouse, building a business, getting into the college of your choice, and building a good life? Are we compromising spiritual depth by pursuing material success? I believe God wants us to achieve and be successful. However, I believe he calls us to meet a few biblical prerequisites to increase our chances for experiencing his blessings.
Because this can be an emotionally charged and complex issue, I have to admit it can be a struggle to answer these questions. If we answer yes too quickly, then we can easily be accused of leaning in the direction of the prosperity gospel. If we answer too slowly, then it seems like we are denying what the Bible says about God blessing his people. What do achievement and prosperity mean for believers who want to honor God with their work and their lives? There are no simple answers to these questions.
A Few Observations on Success
According to one author, we should spend time contemplating several observations regarding this subject:
- Success always implies striving to meet or exceed some set of standards established by some person or group.
- The pursuit of success is always a personal choice.
- Obtaining success will always cost us something. It takes time, ability and resources.
Important Questions About Success
These observations should lead us to ask several important and helpful questions:
- Who is setting the rules for success for me? What qualifies them for establishing the standards?
- Why am I choosing the pursuit of success?
- What price am I willing to pay to pursue and achieve success? Am I willing to sacrifice family, personal health, and peace of mind?
Therefore, I believe we can and should ask God to bless us to be successful in our endeavors because he is a good, good Father. I believe he desires to bless his children, but I believe there a few prerequisites.
There are some things that should be true of us to increase our chances of God granting us success.
Am I committing my work and efforts to God? Proverbs 16:3
Am I doing my work or running my business with humility? James 4:10
Am I transferring all credit to God? James 4:10
Am I seeking God’s reign and rule in my life and my work? Matthew 6:33
Am I faithful in the little things? Luke 16:10-11
Am I shaping my work and business according to godly advice? Psalm 1:1-6
Am I remembering and worshiping God in my success and prosperity? Deuteronomy 8:18
Am I doing my work and business with integrity? Proverbs 20:7-10
Am I genuinely acknowledging that all my prosperity comes from the gracious hand of God? James 1:17
Am I being generous with the blessings of God? Proverbs 3:9-10
Am I remembering from where I started and grateful for where God has me? Deuteronomy 15:15
There is absolutely nothing wrong in asking God for prosperity. However, we should realize that he will give it to us according to his timetable and according to his standards. Ultimately, the greatest achievement we can experience is doing the will of our heavenly Father.
Turn Your Minutes into Moments
Do you ever feel guilty about praying to God for success?
Which of the prerequisite questions resonated with you the most?
Would you add other questions to the list?