The Link Between God, Your Effort, & Success - Guidelines Devotional

The Link Between God, Your Effort, & Success

Guidelines for Living Daily Devotional
April 11, 2019

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

 

Some called it "the Protestant work ethic!"  But it isn't, really.  It is simply the application of several phrases found in Scripture which can be paraphrased, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right; so give it your best effort!"

Four times in the Bible you find a phrase that says, "whatever you do" and emphasizes a relationship between you and God.  The first is found in the Old Testament wisdom literature, specifically the book of Proverbs, mostly written by Solomon.  "Commit to the LORD whatever you do," says Proverbs 16:3, "and your plans will succeed.”  In this same context, the writer says that we as mortals make our plans, but the Almighty, not simply our scheming, determines their outcome.  That first "whatever you do" forges a link between your efforts, God, and success. Application: When you really take Him as your partner in life--whether it is business or a marriage--what some think of as luck, the Bible says is really the blessing of God.

The second whatever you do is found in Paul's letter to the Corinthians where he wrote, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).  To understand the context of this advice, you need to know that the Corinthians were party animals, to use a contemporary expression.  They were debauched, immoral, and, depraved.  Successful merchants, yes, and proud of their accomplishments.  Personal pleasure was at the top of their leisure list.

Paul's advice to these new converts who had grown up in that culture was, whatever you do, whether it is what you say or what your actions are, strive to glorify God--not yourself.  Did his counsel run contrary to their habits and life-style?  Yes, 180 degrees.  Application: When you live a life of integrity and principle, your example is going to run counter to your culture.

When Paul wrote to the Colossians, whose city was an old but fading commercial center, he used that whatever you do expression twice. He first urged them to do whatever they did in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and to give thanks to Him no matter what the result (Colossians 3:17).  Then Paul's second use of this same expression is this:  "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (3:23).

The context of his remarks was labor relations, putting in a full day's worth of work for a full day's pay.  He reminded slaves that God expects more of his own children, that what counts is giving your best effort, realizing that ultimately God rewards your faithful service.

A closing thought.  Whatever you do includes everything you do--nothing excepted. Sloppy work is no credit to those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.  The Bible makes it clear that whatever you do is a reflection on Him who called you to serve Him, and when you do less than your best, you dishonor your Father in Heaven.

Although the truth has been bent out of shape by some who link prosperity with how much you give, there is a definite link between success and the blessing of God in your life.  He's the unseen factor that can tilt the scales in your favor.  Take time to read Psalm 1, where as a preface to the entire book, the writer announces, "Blessed is the man [the person] who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD" (Psalm 1:1,2).

That phrase whatever you do is all-inclusive!  It's amazing how great is God's interest in--yes, whatever you do.

Resource reading: Psalm 1:1-6

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