Everyone wants to be successful. But not everyone really believes that they can be successful. One reason for this tragic thinking lies in their definition of success.

The world tends to define success in terms of money, possessions, fame, etc. Is that really what success is?

This idea has also filtered into the ranks of Christianity. “The prosperity gospel” hasĀ been promoted on TV for decades: “Send your money, and God will give…” Is this really what God promised?

How does God define success?

I have heard it said that when God says something several times in a passage, we should take note of what He is telling us. I would say that if God says something only once, we should really take note of it. There is only one verse in the Bible that contains the word “success.” We should look at it to see what God says about success.

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8 KJV)

The one and only time that God put the word “success” in the Bible is in direct connection with the Word of God. He says to “meditate therein day and night.” That means that we are to be constantly thinking about what the Bible says. One reason for meditating on the Bible is so we can “observe to do according to all that is written therein.” Only after that can we have true prosperity and success.

At this point in Joshua’s life, he had just assumed the role as the new leader of the children of Israel. Moses and the other adults made God so angry that none of them were allowed to enter the Promised Land. It was Joshua’s responsibility to now lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land, conquer it, and divide it among the 12 tribes.

The first of part of Joshua chapter 1, God reiterates these instructions to Joshua and gives him direction and encouragement. In the middle of this, God tells Joshua that if we was to be successful, it would be necessary for him to mediate on God’s Word daily. But he wasn’t to stop there. He was also to take God’s Word and put it into action.

Joshua was usually careful about getting God’s directions (he did make a few mistakes) and then was quick to implement them. After getting God’s instructions in Joshua 1:1-9, he immediately turns to the Israelites and informs then that they were going to move in three days.

If we expect to have success in our lives, we must also spend time daily in God’s Word – not just reading for a minute and moving on, but truly meditating on God’s truths. We must then put those truths into action in our lives. God promises that we will be prosperous and have good success.

What does God’s definition of success look like? Write your comments below!