The Secrets of Success, a daily devotional by Yechiel Eckstein
"Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers." Psalm 1:1
With so many ads bombarding us daily—through Tv, the radio, our smartphones, pop-ups on our computers—we can become immune to the myriad claims of prosper- ity, health, and success.
But when it comes to God’s Word and the promises he makes, we need to readjust the lens of our cynicism. When God tells us what we must do in order to be successful, we need to pay attention.
Psalm 1 offers us just this type of advice. It is a beautiful contrast of two paths set before us—the life of the faithful person and the life of the unfaithful person. We can choose to obey and follow God, or we can choose a path of rebellion and disobedience.
Clearly, if we want to prosper in whatever we do, we will choose to be guided by God’s wisdom. We will avoid being with people who tear down our faith rather than encourage us. We will spend time in God’s Word and know his will for us.
In the Scriptures, God says, “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse—the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God” (Deuter- onomy 11:26-27, niv).
The Sages teach that the word today is used in this passage to emphasize that God speaks to us every single day—not just when he gave us the Bible. When we attune our hearts to his voice and do his will, we will live blessed lives.
Does that mean we will never suffer disappointment, tragedy, or difficulty? no. Does it mean we are guaranteed health, wealth, and happiness? absolutely not.
But it does mean that as we live according to God’s commands, whatever “fruit” we produce will be blessed, and we will receive God’s approval. as we apply God’s Word to our lives, we will adopt actions and attitudes that honor him.
That is the secret to success in God’s eyes.
A Christian Reflection on Living Wisely
In his letter to the new Christians in Jerusalem, James offers some good advice about living wisely.
First, he says, if we lack wisdom (specifically, the ability to make good decisions), we should ask God, “who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given” (James 1:5, niv).
Such wisdom begins with respect for God, leads to right living, and results in the ability to tell right from wrong. Further, James says, as we understand God’s will for our lives by spending time in his Word and through obedience, we will live lives reflected by our good deeds.
This type of “wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17, niv).