Sometimes when successful people are asked to give advise to those aspiring to their kind of success, the common response of “it is God” can be very unsatisfying for the listener. In fact, it is often considered insulting.
The audience is typically expecting to hear a number of practical, actionable ideas, not the reference to God that is increasingly considered an annoying platitude. But really, is it?
While it may be hypocritical for people who have simply stolen money to adduce their “success” to God, for people who have really ‘worked’ their way to success, and who have an ongoing relationship with God, “Na God” may be a more practical answer than appreciated.
If you have experienced the crumbling of Jericho Walls as a result of just praising God for instance, what practical guide are you supposed to give to those seeking to know how the wall came down? How would Joshua sound in our woke world if he told you that his strategy for pulling down the wall of Jericho was hiking, and blowing a trumpet?
Could Peter have advised toiling all night as a means to catch net breaking fish, knowing full well that they did that, and came up with nothing. Would he not have been correct to say, “Na God”.
For those whose walk with the Lord is genuine, and close, miracles; small and big, are daily events of life. To then turn around, and sound off on some practical steps will in reality be laughable. If you know full well that the secret sauce to the results you have is that invisible input from God, and not necessarily all the effort, then the truest thing you can say is, “Na God”.
Moreover, it then becomes misleading to dish out even some of those “practical” things people prefer to hear even when they were God’s direct instruction to you. He might say strike the rock today for instance, and speak to it instead tomorrow.
Perhaps thinking about what answer to give for the reason for success, A wise man once commented:
Eccl 9:11 Again I looked throughout the earth and saw that the swiftest person does not always win the race, nor the strongest man the battle, and that wise men are often poor, and skillful men are not necessarily famous; but it is all by chance, by happening to be at the right place at the right time.
“To be in the right place at the right time” is something that is however entirely in the hands of God.
And so, knowing that the temptation to assume that our wise decisions/actions are solely responsible for our success and then start to dish out strategic insight will be rife, God reminds us to be humble in success when he says,
Deut 8:11 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by failing to keep His commandments and His judgments (precepts) and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12 otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have increases, 14 then your heart will become lifted up [by self-conceit and arrogance] and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 15 He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; it was He who brought water for you out of the flinty rock. 16 He fed you manna in the wilderness, [a substance] which your fathers did not know, so that He might humble you [by dependence on Him] and that He might test you, to do good [things] for you at the end. 17 Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ 18 But you shall remember [with profound respect] the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore (solemnly promised) to your fathers, as it is this day.
In the end, nothing we do can achieve any positive outcomes in, and by itself. Even the laws of nature that we rely upon for the our universe to run as it does depend on God: the bible says that he upholds them by the power of his word.
For believers therefore who are in situations where they want to share with others, and guide them to success, I suppose the key is to first establish the fundamental role of God before any other thing. By this I mean, just as the anticipated results of scientific experiments are qualified by that phrase “under standard conditions for temperature and pressure (STP)”, the believer can qualify his advise with the phrase “God granting”.
In the final analysis, Na God!
image credit: http://www.getdp.net/2014/01/