I was recently reminded that we went thousands of years believing no one could run a mile in under four minutes. An athlete from England, Roger Bannister, on May 6, 1954 ran a mile in 3.59 minutes breaking the impossible barrier. It wasn’t long until 16 runners ran in less than four minutes. The record is now 3:43.13 minutes. What made the differences? Someone believed it could be done. Believing, having faith and confidence is very hard for most people.

Do you believe that God loves you? Do you think God created you to be a failure? In the Bible, Jesus picked out very ordinary people to be His Apostles. He picked out fishermen and common people and not the religious leaders to illustrate that we can become more than we believe possible. Success is not about how much material wealth we accumulate or how much we know. True success is about whom we become, our character and the positive influence we have on others. Wealthy people tell us that wealth does not guarantee happiness. Would you consider a very unhappy person a successful Christian?

One thing Scripture tells was that the men Christ picked did not become successful until they had received the Holy Spirit. Before that, they were slow learners, lacked faith, they were fearful, denied Him and were little different from others. Their success was a result of living their lives according to what God wanted, what the Holy Spirit told them to do and gave them the power to do it. They lived their lives in accordance to what God and Christ wanted and not what they wanted. Of course, they had a different mission and plan than we have been given. However, we should be just as dedicated in accepting God’s plan for us over want we think is best. That doesn’t take away our free moral agency to chose. Regardless of what we choose, will it allow us to be available to be His servant in His ministry?

The Holy Spirit can do for every Christian what He did for the Apostles and Christ’s disciples described in the Bible. It takes surrendering of our self-centeredness and living the example Christ set for us. We have been given the same Holy Spiritual power that they received. That power in many Christians is power that is misdirected and unfocused and this is some of the difference between the Apostles and us.

What if God made every Christian successful and prosperous? Churches would be overflowing. The Devil does not want you to feel successful and live in obedience to God’s ways. He wants us living his plan and knows what it takes to tempt people and cause them to reject God’s plan. So welcome to the real world. Many Christians seem to ignore the Holy Spirit that is within them and could listen to the wrong spirit. Thus, many Christians will never be prosperous and some will be negative and unhappy. So many non-believers think the church is full of hypocrites and they think the world’s way is better.

What made individuals like Steve Jobs at Apple or Bill Gates at Microsoft successful? I believe there may be millions smarter and just as capable. Attitudes and confidences are not something we can teach. They must be something we get from something or somebody. One’s attitude is a personal thing. It is how we see ourselves. Do we believe in the impossible? Do we see ourselves as having successful careers? How often do we think outside-the-box? Are Christians aware of an inner power that is willing and capable of helping them succeed in the workplace? You many think that you have the Holy Spirit but He has never helped you. The Christian who depends upon the Holy Spirit is sensitive to His leading and is like the athlete who listens to an experienced coach. The coach can’t guarantee an athlete’s induction into the Hall of Fame, nor can he guarantee a gold medal for the athlete, but he can train him and teach him everything he knows, giving him every advantage, allowing him to consistently do his best. The Christian’s advantage, having the Holy Spirit, does not guarantee presidencies, chairmanships, wealth, achievement awards, fame or recognition, but He will lead the Christian into the direction that fulfills his God-given purpose and with it, success and prosperity if living by God’s ways.

The following Scripture changed my attitude and how I approached every job I had from college on. Ephesians 6:5 – 8 – “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” It is working with the attitude of not what can the employer do for me as much as what can I do for the company to make it better. The Golden rule principal!

On January 20, 1961 President Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” He was for equal opportunity for everyone. From Washington we now hear: Ask not what you can do for your country—ask what your country can do for you. The new policy is for equal income for all and not the equal opportunity for everyone. There is something about the old policies that created motivation whereas, the new policy causes idleness. Why work if the government is going to take care of me if I vote for them.

The Bible teaches we are to give our all when we are at work. Our government seems to tell us that it is not necessary anymore and we need to depend on them and not on God. What kind of success should we be looking for?
We are all made differently. Some were created with certain abilities, some handicapped and most of us average. God had the knowledge and ability to put the universe together; and He knew everyone of us prior to our birth. Then can’t He give each one of us a plan for our lives with the abilities to be successful? However, Satan is not pleased when Christians do things out of the ordinary. Have you been told you will not amount to much? Have you been convinced? I found the American dream was available to those who realized that it won’t be given to them; it had to be earned.

As Christians we are expected to be different from those who live by the world’s rules. We are told by Scripture to be conscientious and loyal and we are to be positive and encouraging servants. We are to do our best by being dependable and considerate of others.

Most of us living in America would be considered in the top 8% of the world’s wealthiest people. Prosperity is having a home, clothing, food and savings in comparison to the world. Success is also setting a goal and achieving it. Our goals are to be debt free and have sufficient savings to last a life time when we retire. From the world’s view, many of us are successful and prosperous. Are we giving God the glory and thanking Him for allowing us to be a Christian, with His power within us, living in America?

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