Joshua 1:8 very clearly tells us how to be successful (and prosperous): “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Proverbs 3:1-2 confirms this when it says, “Keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.”
Regular Bible study will make us successful in life. That’s a profound statement, because it sounds so simple, but it really does make sense. The Bible gives us knowledge and wisdom, it teaches us how to define success, and it makes us better people.
2 Peter 1:5-11 adds another profound truth: “Make every effort to add to your faith: goodness; knowledge; self-control; perseverance; godliness; brotherly kindness; and, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive.”
This passage gives us an interesting analogy to the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
There are nine components of the fruit of the spirit, and there are eight attributes that guarantee our effectiveness and productivity (success). Of these eight attributes for success, five of them are also attributes of the fruit of the spirit:
1) Self-control – The discipline needed to stay in God’s Word;
2) Goodness – One of the many things we will learn through Bible study;
3) (Brotherly) Kindness – This is how we apply what we learn.
4) Love – Again, how we apply Biblical truths;
5) Faith (Faithfulness) – We wouldn’t be studying the Bible daily if we didn’t believe it.
These are the attributes that the Spirit of God imparts to us through Bible study. If we then add the following, our success is guaranteed:
6) Knowledge – A direct result of Bible study
7) Perseverance – i.e., “… meditate on it day and night…”
8) Godliness – God uses the Bible to impart His knowledge and wisdom to us.
But this makes us wonder why this list for success doesn’t include the other four components of the fruit of the spirit:
Well, although we should have the joy and peace of God (Philippians 4:7), we can achieve success without being joyful and at ease in our success. Likewise, we can be successful without being patient and gentle. In fact, we’ve all seen successful people who weren’t the gentlest people in the world. Their impatience may have even contributed to their success. However, they’re still not satisfied with their success. They’re not joyful and at peace because they want even more success.
God wants us to be successful, and he clearly tells us how we can be. If we study God’s Word daily, we will possess the qualities listed above, and we cannot be unsuccessful. However, we should then be comfortable in our success and prosperity, with the joy, peace, patience, and gentleness from God.