Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Matthew 4:10-11 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Books on the subject of success are everywhere. It seems that every coach who wins any type of championship in any sport, or any individual who has a measure of success in business, will eventually come out with a book that shares with you the secrets of how they became successful. These are appealing to us as we have a natural desire to be a success in every endeavor in life. To that end, we are always looking for that mythical “secret to success,” the one thing that is missing in our lives that will guarantee our success in what we desire.
The thing is, whenever we look at any secrets of success, they are never anything new or unknown. It just seems to be a reminder of something that we have already heard, and already know what we should be doing. The reason we miss out on being successful is because we are not doing the simple things that bring about success. We are always looking for that missing ingredient to bring us success, instead of doing the things we already know that will bring success.
As a Christian, I’ve heard countless messages that tell us how to achieve success as a Christian. It’s not necessarily that those things are wrong, or not true or helpful. But there is one sure underlying secret to success: one that, if not used, guarantees that we will not be successful, no matter what else we do. And if you’ve been a believer for any amount of time, the fact is the secret to our spiritual success is not a secret at all. It’s something simple that we are simply not doing.
The story in the verses above is well known. It is the temptation of Jesus Christ by Satan. We will not go in depth into each of the three temptations. But we do see in the first three verses what Jesus used to gain victory over Satan. And then in the last verse, we notice the complete victory that was gained as Satan decided to give it up.
What was the secret to Jesus’ success in overcoming temptation, sin, and following through in God’s will? Very simply: the Word of God. The secret to success as a Christian, in spirituality, and most every other area of our life, is nothing more than our relationship to the Word of God.
There are two reasons why the Word of God was effective for Jesus. The first is knowledge. Jesus could only use the Word of God if He knew the Word of God. The second is obedience. Jesus could only use the Word of God if He were committed to obedience to the Word of God. That is what prompted Satan to give up his temptation of Christ. He knew that Jesus not only knew the Word of God that He was quoting, but that He also was committed to obeying it.
Maybe that’s two reasons why most Christians have missed this very simple secret to spiritual success and continue to struggle. The average Christian is biblically illiterate, and it will be abundantly evident when they are confronted head-on with temptation. And for those who do know some measure of the Word of God, they lack the commitment to actually live it no matter the circumstance.
We need to quit looking for alternative avenues of success in the Christian life and get back to the one that is tried and tested: the Word of God. Your ability to follow God’s Word and live righteously in this world is intimately tied to your knowledge of and obedience to the Word of God. That is no secret because it is mentioned throughout the pages of the Bible.
Maybe the reason we have trouble hearing God is because of all the unfiltered noise we are allowing.
In order for anything or anyone to be truly successful or lasting, I believe God has rules laid out to be followed.