“Doesn’t God want me to succeed?”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that question – or lament – after someone didn’t get a promotion, missed an opportunity they thought was golden, or suffered financial setback from a bad investment.
Sure, God wants us to succeed. But God’s definition of success is often different than ours. He wants us to succeed in our obedience and faithfulness to Him and His Word (Joshua 1:8), and in our development of Christ-like character.
Do you want to succeed in the areas that are important to God? Do you want to impress Him rather than others? Then take a look at these 5 Things God Wants MoreThan Our Success:
- God Wants Our Humility.
God knows better than we do how personal success can cause us to praise ourselves, rather than Him. Scripture instructs: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:10, NASB). Rather than handing us success, God wants us to live humbly, according to His Word, and wait for Hispromotion (Psalm 75:6-7, KJV).
Instead of praying for success in your job, finances, or personal life, pray for a humble heart so God can trust you with whatever He blesses you with.
2. God Wants Our Spiritual Fruitfulness.
Throughout the New Testament, we are exhorted to grow spiritually and in the character of Christ (Colossians 1:10). In Galatians 5:22-23, we are given a list of the fruits of the Spirit – character traits that emulate Christ and make up God’s measure of success for our spiritual life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These traits are evidence of one’s spiritual growth.
If winning the lottery, succeeding at our business, gaining recognition, or even achieving a desired personal level of success keeps us from exhibiting these characteristics, God may do what it takes to prevent that type of “success” in our lives. His goal is that we be mature and display spiritual qualities. When we display the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, we are living “successfully” in God’s eyes.
3. God Wants Our Obedience & Surrender.
The Prophet Samuel told King Saul “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22). God took the kingdom of Israel away from King Saul and gave it to David, whom He described as “a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’ (Acts 13:22). God equated obedience and surrender with success and the ability to be a great leader.
Jesus said “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them” (John 14:21). According to Jesus, obedience to God is evidence of our love for Him and a formula for spiritual success.
4. God Wants Our Complete Dependence on Him.
Personal success can make us believe we are doing pretty well on our own. We can even tend to think we don’t need God. Wise King Solomon knew this tendency of ours if we were given everything we wanted. In Proverbs 30:7-9, he asked for two things before he died. In addition to his request that God keep deception far from him, he also prayed “Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Are you asking God for a deeper dependence on Him? It seems contrary to a prayer for success. But wants us to depend on Him for everything we have, success included. Instead of praying for a certain measure of success, ask God to make you so dependent on Him you become a success in His eyes.
5. God Wants Our Faith.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us “without faith it is impossible to please God.” If you are highly successful do you still need faith? Of course you do. But if you have plenty of money, people standing by to take your orders, and the belief that you can take care of yourself, it’s easy to get comfortable without exercising faith on a daily basis.
God wants you to seek Him first and discover that He supplies everything else you can possibly need (Matthew 6:33). When we are successful in our eyes, we sometimes think we have all we need.Don’t pray for the ability to do all things, but for a deepening faith in the One who can do all things.
In which of these areas do you want to succeed? I’d love to hear it in the comment section below.
Yes, i always want to please God because i love and appreciate him for my life. In Matthew 6:33 speaks volumes for me to stay focused and keep my heart open for God
Hi Thea: Yes, Matthew 6:33 holds a beautiful principle for us to seek Him first. Thank you for your thoughts.
I want all 5 of measures of success you described above. I realized early in life that I need and most certainly depend on God for everything.
Thanks for your comment, Pamela. Watch for my blog next week on five MORE things God wants more than our success. 🙂
Hi Cindi. I like this article you wrote. I am retired now after 30 years in the appraisal business. I am truly seeking God as my perfect Employer. I am finding that His rewards are far greater than any worldly success I had. If you and Pastor Hugh don’t have plans, come by VCS for the fireworks. It would be good to see you! Hugs, Mary
Hi Mary: I always appreciate your comments. And thank you for the invite. July 4 is the busiest day in the city’s parks so Hugh will be supervising the park rangers and volunteers that evening atop Double Peak and I’ll be there to watch the fireworks alongside him. 😉
A deeper dependency complete obedience and surrender
Those are great ones, Ethel. Thank you for your response.
Cindy I’m always looking forward to read your emails! I have always said I’m a bless woman. I’ve been asking God to change me in a way that I’ll be able to bless others, I fall short on that. I feel like a pumpkin, the ‘re still a lot of pulp that needs to be pulled. I see other people and I’ve ask myself are they for real? Does that take some time?
I would like to reflect your light how they do. Thank you for blessing me with this blog today!
You’re welcome, Miriam. Thank you for your kind words.
Hi Cindi, I am always blessed to open up your emails In my inbox!
I never have shared a comment before on your blog, but I truly feel led that I need to this time.
I’m so greatful for your obedience in the calling that God has blessed you with sharing His Word to remind us, to completely surrender ourselves to Him and know by FAITH He will do what is according to His plan in each of our lives.
Being completely depended on Jesus to help us through different circumstances is really what God wants from all of us. He allows us to go through certain seasons to either sharpen us by edifying us, or to get our deepest attention to see that He is the Only One who we can depend on ultimately in our lives. It’s nice to be beside fellow Believers when we may be facing something difficult or something out of the ordinary. And God provides us to lean upon each other to lift each other’s burdens. But God wants us to know He is the One who can make all things possible. For nothing will be impossible with God.”LUKE 1:37 NASB
I am currently recovering from two cervical herniated discs. I am forty one years old and when I was fifteen I was in a car accident. Being in the passenger seat, while the seat reclined forward it had smashed me like a sandwich. When this happened years ago I was never checked out but felt as anyone would feel, sore and bruised. But recently on May 5th 2019 , being almost two months now, I had did yard work of planting plants for my very first time in my life a week prior and on the Sunday following that week on May 5th, I had wore a jumpsuit for church that had a zipper from the bottom lower back to the top of the neck area. I had reached back with my left arm to zip the zipper and poof I was instantly in pain that increased day by day. While there is so much details into what I have been through with this ordeal having two epidural injections and having as of yesterday starting physical therapy for the second time, I can tell you that I have really been solely dependent on the One who created me “GOD” . Although I have had a huge support system, primarily my husband and daughter who is fifteen years old, have helped me day to day. JESUS has been the One equipping and edifying us all through this circumstance. I praise God for His Faithfulness in this dry season, in bringing us totally dependent in Him. I surrender my life to Him completely. There is no way that I could be where He has me at today in HIM without me being obedient and surrending totally by putting my life in His hands.
I asked if you can keep me in your prayers as I get off all the medications the medical doctor’s have placed me on. My body has became addictive to the medications and has caused me one time to withdraw from them. As of yesterday, I have not needed to take any medications for pain, Praise God! I have went through the process of getting off the medications slowly and safely, but I ask that your prayers will be for me not to experience anymore withdrawals with giving me the side effects of anxiety or depression etc. For God’s word says; Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
PHILIPPIANS 4:6 NASB
I also ask for prayer for complete healing with no operation needed.
I hope that this testimony can encourage someone else who might be facing a dry season in their lives. Know that God will never leave you or forsake you, He has you at His plan of His hand and will help you overcome any circumstances you may be going through. God Love’s Us!!
Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people And will have compassion on His afflicted.
ISAIAH 49:13 NASB
Love you Cindi!
Thank you for your beautiful testimony, Monica. You are in my prayers.
Thank you Cindi! You are in mine too! God bless you!
Thanks Cindi, l have been asking myself that same question cause l want God to make me successful so l can give abundantly to the work of God. Is that not good enough for Him to expand my territory?
Jules, Trust Him that He knows exactly where your territory is. There are no small or insignificant places to God. As we are faithful with a little, he will decide when and how to trust us with more.
Thank you so much for your words Cindi, this is such a wonderful reminder after taking your session at the conference. I love the call to obedience and seeking to please God above all else. I look forward to your next article on this topic!
Thanks, Caroline. 🙂 Great to hear from you on my blog.
Cindi, thank you for the blessing of your blog. I too, interestingly enough, lean on Matthew 6:33. As long as I stay focused on your 5, I consider myself successful…a continual work in progress!
Am soo blessed to read this…i thank God for your life…this has really taught me about success…i thank God for this revelation..
God bless you