Thursday, February 27, 2014

Where Does Success Come From…?

There is a great story in 2 Chronicles 13. As the setting, recently the northern kingdom of Israel and southern kingdom of Judah have split into two. Jeroboam is over the north (Israel) and Abijah, son of Rehoboam, is king of Judah. Jeroboam mobilizes Israel for war; over 800,000 choice men. Abijah rallies 400,000 from Judah in battle formation against them. Abijah calls out a challenge and says that Judah will win the war because they are depending on God and have not forsaken Him.

The battle ensues and Judah, by the grace of God, routs Israel and Jeroboam. Even though Judah was well outnumber and outmanned, the victory went to Judah and Abijah. Then the writer of the book makes the conclusion…

"The Judahites succeeded because they depended on the Lord, the God of their ancestors." (2 Chronicles 13:18)

Where does our success come from? Does is come from our natural, inborn talents? Is it a result of our own design and cunning? Is it because you and I have some sort of special favor?

Likewise, where does the success come from for the impoverished, hurting and hopeless families and communities we are called to work with? Does is come from our remarkable ability to lead and inspire people? Does it come from our lofty knowledge of community development techniques and tools? Or is it something else?

As a person called and working with an organization that seeks to help those in poverty, hunger and seemingly hopeless situations, I am always constantly amazed at the small successes that come. And if I am truthful to myself and others, those successes are best realized when I totally depend upon the Lord. They usually are not a part of one of my grand schemes or carefully planned efforts but they seem to come more out of faithfulness than even my best best efforts.

Moreover, when we help a poor family or community have better access to food, a better income, or a better chance at life, we can claim a bit of "success". But when we help a family or community to know and learn to depend upon God, we have a greater chance at not only a temporal but eternal success.

Where does my true success come from? I pray that I succeed today by depending on the Lord.

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