“In this way, King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, doing what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God. In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.” 2 Chronicles 31:20-21 (NLT)
What does success mean to you? We want to achieve it, but it seems that sometimes the answer is unclear. We see people make lots of money and label that as success. We see people graduate with degrees and label that as success. We see people live in a big house, drive a nice car, have a polite family and label that as success. But, is the greatest success defined by something else?
When Hezekiah became King, he began to turn the nation of Israel back to God. He repaired the Temple and took actions to get rid of the pagan worship in the country. Through his example, God listened to the prayers of the Israelites once again. He reestablished worship of God through honoring the Sabbath and giving tithes. As a result of his decisive action early in his reign as King, he was listed as a success in the Bible. God blessed Hezekiah, because Hezekiah humbled himself and set his heart on God. In our lives, success can be defined as a variety of things, but the greatest success comes when our heart is set on seeking God. When the world applauds our performance, it can be tempting to redefine our view of success. Most people crave the compliments and applause from other people. Even the dictionary defines success in terms of accomplishments and achievements. Yet, when we redefine success, it really has more to do with being rather than doing. We can buy the newest, coolest things to impress the people with whom we work. Although having nice things isn’t bad, the issue is whether our heart is set on obtaining things or loving God. Because when it is all said and done, only God’s opinion matters. If you have gained the whole world but missed loving God in the process, what have you really gained? If you sacrifice your family on the altar of corporate success, what have you gained? In God’s economy, the things labeled as “success” have much more to do with the heart and much less to do with things. The amazing thing is that when our hearts are first devoted to God without exception, then everything else tends to align. We no longer have to strive day after day for the approval of people. We can walk in confidence that God will give us his favor in all the things that we put our hands to do. So, how do you define success? Because if you set your heart on loving God with your whole being, then you really have succeeded.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.