As noted earlier, most people want to live successfully. But success isn’t guaranteed in life unless we seek to live by the standards that will help us achieve it, standards given to us by God in holy scripture.
Several entertainers recorded a country song composed in 1974 by Kris Kristofferson and Marijohn Wilkin, titled “One Day at a Time.” Successful living requires learning to live one day at a time. In the “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus said,
“...do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). No one can afford to borrow trouble from events that may or not take place tomorrow or next year. We must learn to live from day to day if we are live successfully.
There is certainly nothing wrong with planning ahead. Success will be increased by it, but we need to remember the instruction of James, one of Jesus’ brothers: “...you do not know what tomorrow will bring. ... you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills’” (James 4:14-15). We can make plans for the future, keeping in mind that the Lord’s will is most important.
T. J. Shepherd composed the hymn “One Step at a Time” in 1880. The second verse reads,
One step at a time, dear Savior:
I am not walking by sight;
Keep step with my soul, dear Savior:
I walk by faith in Thy might.
Having noted the importance of being a Christian, living successfully involves continuing faithfully in that commitment to Jesus. When Jesus commissioned his apostles to teach the gospel message to the world, baptizing those who believed, he said further they were to teach them to follow everything he had taught the apostles (Matthew 28:19).
John the apostle later wrote to a group of believers, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7). This is what successful living is all about. Walking in the light of God and his word is the basis for success. Jesus warned, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (John 12:48). He also promised, “Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
Finally, to live successfully, we should live a life of prayer to our heavenly father. Prayer is not mysterious, but is our approach to God in simple conversation. Paul said we should pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), that is, to spend much time in prayer. Jesus believed so much in talking with his father he spent all night in prayer (Luke 6:12) and prayed three times in the garden of Gethsemane in sorrow as he prepared for his betrayal, trials and death (Matthew 26:36-46). Prayer is helpful in every situation we face in life as we ask for God’s will to be done.
If you want to live successfully in 2021 and as long as you live, become a Christian, live one day at a time, live according to God’s word and pray continually. You’ll be amazed at the results!