Everyone wants to be successful. Success for me may be different than what you define as success. You might want success in your career, your marriage, your dreams, or any one of many other endeavors, but we all desire success in our lives. Why is it that some people are successful and some are not? Does the Bible give us a recipe for success? I believe it does. The Bible gives us accounts of several people who experienced success, and one of these people is King Hezekiah. Read what these two simple verses sum up about Hezekiah’s life:
“Thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the LORD his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.” (II Chronicles 31:20-21)
The above verses show that Hezekiah prospered in everything he did, but more than that, they also reveal exactly HOW he prospered. Consider the following three, simple steps that Hezekiah modeled.
1. Seek God First
Notice, the first part of the text says that Hezekiah did “throughout all Judah what was good and right and true before the LORD his God.”
If you don’t already know about Hezekiah, then allow me to fill you in on some background information about his family history. His father, Ahaz, was one of the Bible’s worst kings. Ahaz ignored the laws of God and built altars to false idols, worshiped them, even offering his own children as sacrifices to them. (II Chronicles, chapter 28). In so doing, he taught and influenced all of his people to do the same.
In contrast, Hezekiah worshiped the only true and living God. Hezekiah tore down the pagan altars that his father built, and he instructed his people to obey God’s laws. (II Chronicles, chapters 29-31) Like his father, Hezekiah was a powerful influence upon his people, but unlike his father, his influence was a good one that was pleasing to God.
Hezekiah didn’t let his father’s beliefs, his father’s power, or the beliefs and influences of anyone else in his community stop him from seeking God and doing what was right before God. Therefore, Hezekiah stood out as a good example within his society.
If we want to be successful, the first thing we should do is what Jesus commanded in Matthew 6:33:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
What are “all these things?” If you read the context of Matthew 6, Jesus is teaching us not to worry about physical needs because God loves us and will provide what we need. If you desire to have all that you need, do like Hezekiah did and set your mind to seeking God first. Set your mind to doing what is “good and right and true” before God.
When we seek to put God first in everything, we will will be honoring God, and the Bible says that God honors those who honor Him. (I Samuel 2:30)
2. Shine Your Light
II Chronicles 31:20 also says that Hezekiah did what was good and right and true “throughout all Judah.” This means he not only did what was right, but he influenced his entire community to do what was right. He was a king, so he had the power to destroy pagan altars and to command that the people obey God. We may not have the power and authority of a king, but we have the gospel of Jesus Christ, which possesses great power if we use it properly. (Romans 1:16) If we do our part to spread the gospel in our community through sincerity, love, good deeds, and righteousness, then we can influence others to serve God also.
When we try to live our lives right before God, this means we strive to behave honestly, morally, and ethically everywhere we go, whether it is work, school, ball games, community gatherings, and so forth. Companies, churches, schools, and other organizations need people that they can depend on, and when you strive to live your life honestly before God, you learn to become one of these people that these organizations are looking to promote.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
3. Give it your best
The next thing that the text says about Hezekiah is: “And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart..”
In everything Hezekiah did, in every work he did, every service, every commandment, he worked to give it his best with all his heart. No matter what you do in this life, if you give it your best, it will always pay off for you eventually. It might be right away, or it may be down the road, but you will prosper from it.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58)
When you serve God with all your heart and work hard to simply do the very best you can, it never goes unnoticed by God. He will see to it that you are rewarded for your labor.
One of my favorite verses in the whole Bible is Psalm 1. It says that blessed is the person who:
“delights in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does he shall prosper.” (Psalm 1)
King Hezekiah was such a blessed person that this psalm describes. If you want to prosper in everything you do, then I encourage you to follow in the steps of King Hezekiah and pattern your life after him.