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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Efforts Crowned with Success

"In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success." - Proverbs 3:6 TLB

One of the first things I learned when I began to get serious about my relationship with the Lord is that He earnestly desires to be involved in every aspect of our lives--including our work. No job is too small or insignificant to pray about. I rejoiced when I discovered Proverbs 3:6 in the Living Bible Translation: "In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success." Before I tackled a task, I often prayed, "Lord, crown my efforts with success." Then one day I sensed the Spirit of God telling me, "You're missing something." As I sought the Lord about it, He revealed to me that in order for Him to crown my efforts with success, I had to "put Him first" by asking Him to "direct" them. By doing this, I was putting the task in His hands, and depending on His wisdom and power to complete it with success. Now before I begin my work, I often pray, "Lord, direct my efforts, and crown them with success."

One of the first scriptural promises that I claim each morning is Proverbs 16:3 (AMP): "Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed." When we commit our endeavors to the Lord, He begins to work on our thought life. Not only does He give us creative ideas we never would have thought of on our own, but He directs us in the paths of "His will"--which is where our blessings, rewards, and opportunities are. Each time we approach a task, we have to remember that there's our way of doing it, and there's God's way. If we humbly and prayerfully give it to God, He becomes responsible for seeing that it succeeds. If we go ahead with it on our own, God is not obligated to direct our efforts, or to cause them to prosper. And this is a recipe for frustration and failure.

David wrote: "Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him to help you do it and He will." (Psalm 37:5 TLB) I want you to focus on the words, "trust Him," in this verse for a moment. No matter what task you may be facing now, God wants you to approach it in faith. He wants you to give it to Him, and believe with all your heart that He's going to help you with it. You can't approach an undertaking with fear and doubt and expect to achieve the same results that you would if you tackled it in faith. As the Bible says, without faith it's impossible to please God, and it's only faith that He rewards. (Hebrews 11:6) Do you want your work to please God? Then get Him intimately involved with it each and every time. Before I sat down to write this message, I prayed Deuteronomy 33:11 (NIV): "Bless all [my] skills, O Lord, and be pleased with the work of [my] hands." Whether I'm using my writing skills, my ministry skills, my cooking skills, or my driving skills--I depend on the Lord to bless them and to cause them to succeed for His glory.

God has a plan for your success in every endeavor you undertake, and you can lay hold of that plan as you commit your work to Him, and trust Him to direct your efforts. Large or small, I'm committing all of my tasks to the Lord. How about you?

Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for all of the times I've done my work mindlessly and thoughtlessly, leaving You out of the process entirely. Teach me how to approach my work in faith and confidence, instead of in fear and doubt. Thank You that as I put You first in everything I do, my efforts will be blessed, and You will be glorified.

- J. M. Farro


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