Thursday, September 27, 2018

Success In Life Doesn't Start With... (Read 1 Kings 2:1-9)

Books such as 1 & 2 Kings never have been my favorite ones. But somehow, these are the books that taught me a lot about life. In 1 Kings 2:1-9, King David gave final instructions to Solomon that would ensure success. David exhorted Solomon to obey God, follow Him, to be kind to his supporters and – to kill his enemies (this last instruction require a Bible study). About obedience to God, David said, "Observe the requirements of the LORD your God and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go…" (1 Kings 2:3). God once said the same thing to Solomon in 1 Kings 3:14 after God granted him wisdom. God reminded him again in 1 Kings 6:12 in the midst of building the Temple. Solomon even rehearsed it in his own prayer in 1 Kings 8:25. Finally, God repeated it again in 1 Kings 9:4, "…obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations…" In essence, God said to Solomon: If you want success in life, put Me first!

Max Lucado in his amazing book, It's Not About Me (2004), writes: "Self-promotion. Self-preservation. Self-centeredness. It's all about me! They all told us it was, didn't they? Weren't we urged to look out for number one? Find our place in the sun? Make a name for ourselves? We thought self-celebration would make us happy… But what chaos this philosophy creates. What if a symphony orchestra followed such an approach? Can you imagine an orchestra with an ‘It's all about me' outlook? Each artist clamoring for self-expression. Tubas blasting nonstop. Percussionists pounding to get attention. The cellist shoving the flutist out of the center-stage chair. The trumpeter standing atop the conductor's stool tooting his horn. Sheet music disregarded. Conductor ignored. What do you have but an endless tune-up session!

"Harmony? Hardly. Happiness? Are the musicians happy to be in the group? Not at all. Who enjoys contributing to a cacophony? You don't. We don't. We were not made to live this way. But aren't we guilty of doing just that? No wonder our homes are so noisy, businesses so stress-filled, the government so cutthroat, and harmony so rare. If you think it's all about you, and I think it's all about me, we have no hope for a melody. We've chased so many skinny rabbits that we've missed the fat one: the God-centred life."

If you want success in life, then all your activities must reflect God's will. Today, make God the center of your life. Ask God to show you what successful living means for you. Then, rest easy in God's peace and His plans. God first. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

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