A blind man climbs the Mount Everest, the world's highest peak. Believe it? "Impossible! Insurmountable! Unbelievable!" Perhaps you would say. Wouldn't you? But he did climb it and climbed it successfully. Taking the only staff in hand, being his only SAHARA, he scrambled up the icy rocks of the Himalayan mountains like a spider. The Himalayan glacier above the altitude of 8000 meters is diabolically cruel and inexplicably dangerous to any climber to tumble down the hill when hit by an avalanche of snow and be napped forever under the crevasse. The winds generally blow at the speed of 160 km/ph, which can transform to a killer storm. His partners shouted at him with a helpful alert as he started climbing,
"Death fall half a meter to your right"
"Big crevasse to your left."
But his spirit of adventure was so great that DEATH could not become a stumbling block on his way to the highest peak. He did stick to his determination to win the summit at all cost. And certainly he did win it. Do you know who this wonderful blind man is? Well, he is Weihenmayer Erik, 33 of age who became totally blind at the age of 13.
Temba Tshri from Nepal is another name of a success story. At his early teens only at the age of 15, he conquered the Mount Everest and became the world's first youngest person to reach the summit. There is yet another fascinating story of a whiz kid who hails from Bihar (India). Known as Tathagat Avatar Tulsi, he became the youngest scholar of physical sciences in the world's "Guinnes Book" record for becoming the youngest man in the world to finish his high school at the age of 9 years and 6 months, his B.Sc. degree in physics at 11 years and 2 months and his M.Sc. in physics only at the age of 11 and 10 months. He has also a wonderful dream of becoming the youngest Novel Laureate in physics. O, what a gifted personality! What is that propelled these young men to climb the Zenith of success and become a newsmaker? Every one of us wants to be successful in life. Don't we? There are teeming millions of young stars who really crave for higher achievements. Our life is indeed full of aspiration, pep and ambition. And I do not find any reason why we shouldn't aspire for the great things of life. But do we all succeed? In a competition of race course, only few win and many fall back. What then are the ingredients of success after all? No doubt, they are obviously your self confidence, self determination, hard work and also an abundant faith in God. In addition to it we also need a conducive environment and supportive guidelines from parents, siblings, teachers and friends. Success will always be a dream if you only depend upon the vicissitude of fortune.
BUT WHAT IS SUCCESS?
Someone may define success as "the joy of reaching the peak of any desired goal". Others may call it as a "Fulfillment of Life's ambition". But many would like to interpret success in terms of a good career, money, position and power.
"I'm often amazed at how many people define success as making (or having) a lot of money. It's very strange, because many of the people who think this way are harried, stressed and frankly, pretty miserable."- Anonymous.
On the other hand, there are people who may even see it in terms of knowledge or degrees gained through academic courses. In the present day world scenario, we are much concerned about the so called intellectual knowledge rather than the wisdom of God. Parents take much pain in educating their children to the standard of this world and take lesser and lesser pain or no pain at all in teaching them the fear of the Lord. The knowledge which is gained and preserved by knowing, enlightenment and learning through experience is known as intellectual knowledge. The intellectual knowledge is the result of our human intelligence or the brain culture. It mainly involves the following-
1.The knowledge of the world, the universe.
2.The knowledge of natural sciences, the scientific world, the scientific truths and principles.
3.Knowledge of literature, history etc.
4.Knowledge of doing things or ability to do.
5.Intelligence, aptitude, reasoning power etc.
The knowledge gained through experience or brain culture is possible without knowing God also or without having any personal relationship with God. There are many scientists who do not believe in God, yet they are renowned scientists. In today's world we see that human beings are pursuing after this intellectual knowledge or the intellectual learning. The word "knowledge" in Daniel 12:4 is probably talking about this intellectual pursuit of man. Man is on the run to catch up the thing called knowledge which the Lord has granted the man to awesome extend in this last days .But we need to acknowledge the fact that God is the author of all knowledge. Most of us are little aware of the fact that "All these come from the Lord Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom." Is 28:29.
But what I want to emphasize is that more than this knowledge, we also need the knowledge and wisdom of God and the enlightenment of His Spirit. Success should not be seen only from the worldly point of view. Success is not only a worldly gain; it should also be a spiritual break through.
THE BIBLICAL POINT OF VIEW OF SUCCESS-
Success is prosperity:
Prosperity is a holistic term. A man is composed of a body, a soul and a spirit (IThess. 5:23). When a man grows, he should grow in all these areas. The body is the physical appearance or identity of a person while soul refers to the inner person of the man. It has a will, a mind (the intellect) and an emotion. The spirit on the other hand, is the very image of God. It is because of the spirit that man becomes a living personal being. And it is also because of the spirit that man is capable of having a personal relationship with his creator. God wants that we should prosper in life.
"His children should prosper and be in health even as their soul prospers." IIIJn2
".that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." (IIIJn2, NIV)
Many seem to be successful or prosperous in their endeavor but they have disappointments and problems in many areas. They do not experience the joy and happiness of life. So, it is important that we try to understand the meaning and value of a successful life. In the Bible, prosperity is compared to an ever green tree planted by the river of water.
1. A tree planted by the river of water. Ps 1:3
2. A tree which is ever green. Ps 1:3; Jer 17:8
3. A tree which is full of branches.
4. A tree which is full of sap. Ps 104:16
5. A tree which is fruitful. Math 7:17
6. A tree upon which the birds make their shelter. Ps 104:16,17
7. A tree under which every traveler takes rest.
8. A tree of life. Pr. 3:18; Gen. 49:22
9. A tree of righteousness. Ps.61:3; 60:4
The tree by the river of water is a wonderful analogy of a successful life. Prosperity is thus a blessing from God. Unless God blesses, no one can prosper. It is indeed a divine provision of God for all His children.
WHY SHOULD WE PROSPER IN LIFE?
1. We should prosper in life because, it is God's will for us "to have all sufficiency in all things to abound to every good work" IICor. 9:8
God does not want us to be poor.
God does not want us to be ignorant.
God does not want us to be an out cast or down trodden.
But God wants us to be successful and prosperous in all aspects of life in all our endeavors (Ps.1:3).What we need to do is to depend on His wonderful resources.
"With Him are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity." Pr.13:21
2. We should prosper in life to Glorify God.
"Glorify God in your body and in your Spirit which are God's." ICor. 6:20
It means that we should glorify God in everything we have achieved. This is the attitude we should develop in our life. We want to attain heights of success without having any perspective or right purpose in life. We want to become selfish and self centered. This is not God's will. His will is that we glorify His name in all things. And this should be our ultimate aim in life.
3. We should prosper in life to be a channel of God's blessing .Deut. 28:2
This is God's will that we always be a channel of blessing to others. Others should be benefited and blessed by us. A successful life is an abundant life, a life which is available and useful to God and the needy in this world. Our lives should never be self conceited. Jesus said,
"You are the light of the world"-
Our purpose is to shine in the darkness. Let others see Jesus in you and me.
HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE?
1. Set an objective in life:
It is essential for you to set a clear and specific objective in life if you want to be really successful and prosperous. Bring your aims and objectives to the alter of God as a living sacrifice to Him. Many of the young people do not have any goal in life. This is the reason why our young people do not succeed. We should be men of vision from our early teens. We should tell God all about our aims and visions in prayer that He may lift us up in due time. But at the same time, it is also important that they have a wider perspective in life. We should ask,
"Why such a goal?"
""Will it bring glory to God's name "?
2. Desire for the best gift:
"Covet earnestly the best gift. ICor 12:31
"Every good gift and perfect gift is from above." James 1:17
God bestows gifts to every body. Every perfect gift (both physical and spiritual) comes from God. We should always desire for the best gift. Because, it is God's will that we have it abundantly. But when God bestows a gift, it is never a ripe fruit. It is only like a small seed. It is to be germinated in a good soil under a good climatic condition. Then it will grow into a plant. We have yet to wait a couple of years to see it grow up into a tree and then bear fruit. It is also like a budding twig yet to be nurtured and taken care of lest it be destroyed in the bud. It is sad to see that many of the young people's gifts are marred half way. They are plucked out premature before they are ripe.
The goal you have set in life should also be linked to the gift you have. You should therefore diligently try to search it out what your gift really is .So there should be a screening test of the gift you have and the aim you set for. Any gift can be termed as the best gift when it is used in the maximum giving the results in the maximum. But we need to remember that gifts are not given to any body solely for his personal gain or edification. They are primarily given for the edification of the whole body, the Christ. It means that you should use it for His Glory.
3. Trust in the resourcefulness of God:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Pr.3:5, 6
"He who trusts in the Lord will prosper." Pr. 28:25
"Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever." Psalm 125:1
"If any one of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. Ja 1:5
"I have for you", declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper." Jer 29:11
It is essential that you trust in the resourcefulness of God and not your own. And if you do so, God will surely open up a new vista to your ambition.
4. Diligently labor hard:
"You will eat the fruit of your labor, blessings and prosperity will be yours. "
Faith and work go hand in hand. They are the two sides of the same coin. You cannot expect success to be a WINDFALL. You must try hard trusting in the Lord. How beautifully does the Psalmist describe the fruit of the labor,
"Those who sow in tears
Will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
Carrying seed to sow,
Will return with songs of joy,
Carrying sheaves with him." Ps 126:5-6
Obedience is the key word to prosperity.
(a) Obey the Lord your God:
"A blessing if you obey the commandment of the Lord your God." Deut. 11:27
"If they obey and serve Him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment" Job 36:11
We should obey His laws and be desirous to meditate on them. Anybody who does so,
(i)".he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.,
(ii) That brings forth his fruit in his season;
(iii) And his leaf also shall not wither;
(iv) And whatever he does shall prosper. Ps 1:3
(b) Obey your parents:
This commandment is from the Lord himself but with a promise.
"Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a PROMISE. That IT MAY BE WELL WITH THEE, and thou may live long on the earth. Eph 6:1
Obey your elders
(d)Obey your teachers
(e) Obey that are in authority.
6. Be humble:
Humility is one of the great qualities of human life. Humility is Christ likeness. There are hundreds of promises in the Bible for a humble person.
"Humble yourselves therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. " IPet 5:6
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." Ja 4:10
"Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life. Pr. 22:4
"..he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." Math 2312
"Whoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Math 18:4
Opposed to humility, there stands the Pride which is obviously self destructive and self abased. The twin towers of the World Trade Centre (WTC) in New York City will ever remain a symbol of human pride and arrogance that virtually collapsed after the most audacious terrorist attack on Sept.11, 2001. We need to learn a great lesson from the fall of WTC that God is able to do it as He also did it with the towers of Babel.
It is important therefore to see what the Bible says about pride.
"Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." Pr. 16:18
"Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.." Pr. 16:5
"Pride and arrogance, and the evil way, and the forward mouth do I hate. Pr. 8:13; 16:16
"When pride comes then comes disgrace,." Pr. 11:2
"And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased." Math 23:12
7. Always be positive to failure:
Failure is one of the most important ingredients of success. We mustn't think loose of it. It works like a propeller that helps the helicopter fly high on top and get the momentum. Hundreds and thousands of articles are written on this subject. Many like to put it like this
"Failure is the key to success" or as "Failure is the path to success."
In an article entitled, "Failure is the path to success", Mr. Self Development, the author, gave an example of a great scientist of the centuries named, Sir Thomas Alva Edison. He wrote, "Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he invented the electric bulb, but he didn't see it as a bad thing. He just said, 'I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work'. This has to be our attitude."
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed." Said Michael Jordon.
"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.' Dale Carneige.
We should learn things from our failures. That only can help you to get a new turn. And what you need to do is to humble yourself under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. IPet 5:6, 7
A SUCCESSFUL LIFE IS A CONTENTED LIFE. Your achievement may not be as high as the Mount Everest. Yet if you have satisfaction and contentment of life, it will be called a success. But the real contentment of life is possible only through having a right relationship with God. Christ is the real source of peace, happiness, satisfaction and complete fulfillment of life. He is able to satisfy your life and fulfill all your ambition. The Bible is the real Hand Book to every child of God which alone can give you the right instructions, the way you should go. The Bible is full of living instructions and guidelines that can give you more enlightenments, knowledge and wisdom. Every precept in the Bible is a living instruction to live a life of success and a life which is eternal. Read them and search in them the gold and ornaments diligently.
Name of the Author of this article: Dr. Surya Kumar Daimari, MA,M.Ed, PGDTE,D.Min.(Doctor of Ministry)
The author is a freelance writer.