What is Success? Success is excelling in whatever activity one is involved in. It has been written, we are branches, Jesus is the vine yard, and without him we can do nothing. However, there are certain things God sees in a man before he blesses him or curses him to succeed; they are called the 3Ds to Success, which are: Desire, Determination and Devotion.
Desire is to want something. Desire is the first step to success, if a man those not desire to do something or to participate in something no matter how hard he tries, he will not succeed in it because he those not love doing it. In 1st Samuel 1vs11-17:
11And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
12And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.
13Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
14And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? Put away thy wine from thee.
15And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.
16Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.
17Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.
It was the desire to receive a child that made Hannah cry out to God the way she did. However, if you compare Hannah’s story to Cain in Genesis 4 vs. 3-5:
3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favour on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
God did not receive Cain’s sacrifice because, Cain did not desire to please God, he just gave God something, like God was a pauper. In Psalms51vs 16-17:
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
No matter the good you do, it will only be pleasing to God if you are doing it from the depths of your, that was the mistake Cain made and that was why his offering was not accepted by God. Therefore, if you love what you are doing, you will not do it because you have been asked to, but you will do it willingly. We youth must have the desire to do well in whatever activities we are involved in, this is because, if you enjoy what you do, you will put your best in it. However, we must be careful of what we desire for, this is because the devil uses our desires to pull us away from the word of God; this is called temptation. In the book of Matthew4vs 1-4:
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
The devil tempted Jesus Christ with food, because Jesus was hungry, but Jesus conquered the devil because God the Father was with Him and so is He with us. Therefore my brethren in the Lord, we must be careful of what we desire for, we should not lust or desire the things of the world for they shall pass away, but His word will still remain, so says the Lord. We should only desire that which pleases the Lord, which is His word.
The second ‘D’ to success which is Determination; this means taking the next step in achieving ones goal. Determination is doing whatever it takes to become successful, it can also be defined has moving forward. If one is not determined then desire is a waste. In the book of Mark2vs 1-5:
1A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith; he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
It was the determination to heal the paralytic that made the men open the roof where Jesus was, and that was what Jesus saw before He healed the paralytic. This is what God wants from us, He wants us to be zealous for His word; He wants us to be determined to follow the cross. For if a man is determined, words like: “I can’t be bothered” will not be found in his mouth. Another example of determination can be found in the book of Mathew20vs 29-34:
29As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
31The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
32Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked.
33"Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."
34Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
When the blind men knew Jesus was there, they started shouting because they knew that it was only Jesus that could give them sight again, even when other people where trying to shot them up, they refused, because they were determined to receive their healing that day. Brethren, determination is the weapon we use in breaking down the obstacles in away, when an athlete falls, it is his or her determination that will pick him or her up again. There is a proverb that says, “Destiny is not given, it is taken” do not expect life to smile at you, you have to get up and take it by force, God has given us a destiny to fulfil, however, the devil those not want us to fulfil this destiny. Hence, he is determined to steal kill and destroy our destiny. Thus as youth, as Christians and as soldiers of God we have to be determined to conquer the devil through Christ Jesus. In Mathew8vs 5:
5When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6"Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."
7Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
8The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he came. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
10When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
This shows a great deal of faith in one man, he believe that his servant will be healed only if Jesus spoke His word. This is the type of faith and determination God His looking for in us, as His horse men, if we don’t believe we can conquer the enemy we will not prevail, therefore we have to be faithful and determined for Christ.
Devotion is given or dedicating ones time to achieving ones goal. The devotion is the last step to success. Before a man or a woman can be successful in life, he/she needs to dedicate their time to it. Therefore, dedication can also be defined as giving your very best in whatever activity you are involved in. If you devote your time to your work, you will always come across new things and you will automatically become an expertise in that particular activity or field. In businesses today, employers are looking for employees who are dedicated in whatever they do. This is because, with dedication comes loyalty and honesty, therefore such a person is not likely to commit any fraudulent or criminal activities that can jeopardise the success of the business. In the book of IIKings2vs 1-15:
1 When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.”
But Elisha said, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel.
3 The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, "Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?"
"Yes, I know," Elisha replied, "but do not speak of it.”
4 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho."
And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went to Jericho.
5 The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, "Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?"
"Yes, I know," he replied, "but do not speak of it.”
6 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan."
And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.
7 Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?"
"Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied.
10 "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah said, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not."
11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart.
13 He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. "Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.
15 The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, "The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha." And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.
Looking at the story of Elisha, you can see how he devoted his life to God and his master Elijah, that was why God bless him with double of Elijah’s spirit. Brethren, we need to devote our lives to God, as youths, we have a lot of things to do, tomorrow lies in our hands if we do not know God now while we are young, it will be very hard to know God when we grow old. Remember, the devil those not want us to achieve our purpose for living, but through God all things are possible.
You have seen how the 3Ds to success work together, if you don’t have the desire to succeed, you will not be determined and if you are not determine you will not devote your time to it. Therefore, if we must excel in anything we do, we need to have these 3Ds to success. Hence to summarise it all, we need to know our God and learn to trust in Him, this is the way to success.