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            The two kinds of success in the world are human and divine, but only divine success is safe.  Human success leaves God out of our plans and always leads to problems.  If there is no change or conversion, human success will lead us to the lake of fire.  It is not God’s will that we have any lack or meet with any defeat, because we were created to be successful in the Christian life.

            1 Peter 5:5-6 ”be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”  We are not to complain or grumble when meeting with unpleasant things that are said or done to us.  We are to bear it patiently and meet it in a scriptural way—because God “resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.”

            God’s mercy is on those willing to be wronged and take it patiently—those who are treated in a mean way, snubbed, or suffering some loss, but still not complaining or getting upset about it.  God has mercy on people like that, and He does everything He can for them, but He is against those who get upset and complain and refuse to meet things right.

            When we do not meet things scripturally, Satan is permitted to hinder us and make our life unhappy.  We can allow Satan to make our life miserable, just because of our proud and rebellious spirit—and wanting to go our own way.  The devil can bring all kinds of trouble, sorrow, and grief into our life, if we have not followed the scriptural advice to 1 Peter 5:6 "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” 

            Everything that happens to us—no matter how unpleasant or disappointing—it could be the loss of a friend, money issue, or anything that is displeasing—it is, however, God working to remove the last bit of self in us, and leading us to success in the center of His will.

            Not many people know that God’s plan of success and exaltation is to go down first; to be humbled and considered nothing—a zero.  Being considered nothing is more spiritually valuable than appears on the surface—it is the mighty hand of God.  When we are willing to take the lowest place and be humble, everything can change.

            The wisest man said Proverbs 22:4 ”By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.”  Everyone wants to have riches, honor, and a long life; and that is what God wants everyone to have.  When God gives us success, there is no sorrow attached to it.  Proverbs 10:22 ”The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.”

            The success of the world can make someone rich, but there can be much sorrow added to it—and eventually an eternal sorrow.  God wants us to be prosperous, successful, contented, and have the desires of our heart, but according to His plan—which is walking in His way of humility—1 Peter 5:7 ”Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

            Bible examples prove the above—the people of Israel were on the border of the Promised Land, and were about to have the promise fulfilled—that God made to Abraham.  Moses reminded the people of the path that led to this place of victory and blessing.  The apostle says 1 Corinthians 10:11 ”All these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”

            Moses said Deuteronomy 8:2 ”Thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee.”  To be compelled to trust God each day for supplies that day, is a humbling process.  It is very humiliating and yet very valuable spiritually—to be short of money and have to depend on God for the next meal.  He did so to "test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”

            It was a searching process so that God would get all the wrong ways out of their hearts, and put His right ways in.  Deuteronomy 8:3 "So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

            God explained what kind of land it was—one of prosperity, and the reason He dealt with them in that way, and all those years, was so He could lead them to success at the end.  All the chastening, hardship, and humbling process was that they might eventually be exalted.  Even their clothing was durable Deuteronomy 8:4 "Your garments did not wear out on you.”

            God said they were going into a land where they would lack nothing.  Everything their heart could desire would be showered upon them—all provided by God.  He was just teaching them as a father teaches his son. 

            Deuteronomy 8:7-9 "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper.”

            Even though being tested, hungry, thirsty, humiliated, and proven, they eventually came to a place of God’s prosperity.  That is always the path to blessing, victory, and success in the Christian life.  Divine prosperity is the only kind worth having.

            It is why we are to Philippians 2:5-7 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation.”  It is humbling to lose our reputation and have people think the worst of us.  Self clings to a good reputation, and wants people to think the best of them; but Jesus 7 “made himself of no reputation.”

            The Lord of Heaven became a servant on earth, dressed in common clothing, and was close friends with the poor.  Jesus was God in the flesh Philippians 2:8 ”And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  Jesus was willing to meet things in God’s way—even if it meant losing his life.

            He did not try to fight His own battles, nor use His own efforts.  He did not try to conquer His enemies, nor deliver Himself out of the trouble He was in.  He never complained or murmured; did not give people the cold shoulder when they treated Him in an abusive way.  He treated His worst enemies as if they were His best friends.

            Philippians 2:9-11 ”Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

            Jesus did not make one move to deliver Himself; and He never changed His attitude toward anyone—that is the starting point of divine success.  When we have made our last complaint, and have placed the matter into God’s hands to stay, He will exalt us in due time.  We will have a heaven to go to Heaven in—that is God’s plan of exaltation!

            There are many who envy the prosperity of the world—and there are millions who seem prosperous, but they are not to be envied—considering their fate if there is no repentance.  Psalm 73:3,5,7 ”For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.  5 They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like other men.  7 They have more than heart could wish.”

            Asaph then says Psalm 73:16-19 ”When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.  Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.  Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!  They are utterly consumed with terrors.”

            God’s prosperity is always by the way of humility and meeting each trial in His way.  From a human standpoint, financial battles are unpleasant and humiliating; but from a divine viewpoint there could not be a more valuable place for us to be in, than where we have to trust God for every penny received.  Persecutions and trials are always on the road to real exaltation and divine prosperity.

            We can go to bed thinking all is lost, and with no hope for the future.  Our life can seem like a desert—God has forgotten us, we think; but it can all be turned around by God—it is what He is anxious to do for anyone who will give Him the opportunity.

            Joseph experienced that.  Hidden deep in his heart was a limit to his trust on God.  When he thought there was no use to keep His faith in God’s faithfulness to get him out of the prison, he asked the butler for a way out—like; would he use his influence to obtain his release; he was asking.  It was a human plan to get himself out of prison.

            The butler forgot all about it—and how valuable that was!  Joseph could have ended in the lake of fire, if the butler had followed through with the favor he owed him.  After two years, Joseph knew for sure that his cell-mate had totally forgotten the favor.

            Joseph realized that his only hope was to completely trust on God’s mercy and grace for help.  When he did decide to trust God, things changed quickly.  Everything was turned completely around.  He was released from prison, and promoted to the second highest position in Egypt.

            Joseph was exalted by God—spiritually, socially, financially, and had everything a human being could possibly want.  It was all turned around overnight!  He went from a prison to a palace within a few hours!

            God is waiting to do that for anyone else who will learn the lesson of humility and absolute dependence on Him alone for everything.  That is the theme of this message—1 Peter 5:5-6 ”Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”


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