Every sincere Christian wants to live to please God. It can be difficult in a world plagued by temptation, doubt, fear. But the Bible gives instruction on how to live successfully for Christ. For example, people in the Bible, although human, are powerful examples for us. Consider the lives of men and women such as Noah, Moses, Joseph, Deborah, David, Mary, Peter, John, Paul and many others. Hebrews 11 makes the point more clearly than I am able.
Let's look briefly at three key principles basic to daily success.
First, living one day at a time will help us live successfully. We’re accustomed to "looking down the road." In our daily pace of living, society demands that we plan for the future. But so many times we can defeat ourselves before we start.
Many are familiar with the hymn "One Step at a Time" by Thomas J. Shelton, penned in 1880:
One step at a time, dear Savor,
I cannot take any more;
The flesh is so weak and hopeless,
I know not what is before.
None of this means we shouldn't look ahead to heaven. But we we will only get there "one step at a time."
Second, to live successfully, we must live in the light of God's word. If we walk in darkness, we will lose our way. The only way to walk in the light is by walking according to his word. David wrote concerning God’s will, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105). Bible students know that this entire psalm — the longest chapter in the Bible — is a testimony to the beauty and value of holy scripture.)
Paul said that we "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7), and that "...faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17).
It follows that continual study of on our part is necessary. This simply cannot be emphasized enough, since the word of God is spiritual food of our souls.
Third, a key to living a successful life is constant, sincere prayer. "Pray without ceasing" is Paul’s admonition (1 Thessalonians 5:17). A blessing of consistent prayer is one sought by most everyone: "...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
Prayer must be done with confident expectation in God’s desire and willingness to answer positively. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8). Someone said, "If we can’t depend on God, on whom can we depend?" Of course, we must pray for God’s will to be done (Matthew 6:10; 26:39).
Of course, it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway!), we should live consistently with our prayers. It's tragic that some seem to believe they can fool God when they pray.