Four Keys for Godly Success
The way to success in the Kingdom is really upside down from success before men. It’s simple, but it is challenging.

Four Keys for Godly Success

by Jono Hall
10/6/16 Christian Living

I am weak; there, I admitted it. But the truth is I don’t like admitting it and perhaps you are with me in this. I like to be “put-together.” I like to be effective in accomplishing what I need to accomplish and, truth be told, I don’t mind if people see me this way. So I spend time training myself to be more effective: reading books, listening to messages, building relationships with others who I can glean from and network with.

Occasionally I will question my motivations. Am I motivated solely to get more favor with others? So I can I get more resources? So I can become more secure? The answers to these questions are complex, humans are complex, but the bottom line for me is that I don’t like weakness and consistently set my course to gain strength. I’m not alone in this; I find many warnings in scripture of individuals who did similarly. In 1 Chronicles 26 we read of King Uzziah:

Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he was king in Jerusalem for fifty-two years. . . And he did what was correct in the eyes of the Lord. . . And he sought after God. . . And in the days that he sought after the Lord, God caused him to succeed. (1 Chronicles 26:3–5)

Uzziah had a good start, but his ending wasn’t so great.

And as he grew strong, his heart grew more proud, leading to his destruction. (2 Chronicles 26:16)

Getting strong was not Uzziah’s problem and it is not our problem, but our way of getting there and what we do once we are strong is the problem; the ensuing pride was Uzziah’s downfall and it will be ours too if we pursue this path. Thankfully scripture has an antidote against this path and it is called embracing weakness. The Apostle Paul learned this through painful trials as Jesus spoke to him, that “My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9) and this left an apostle who could literally “boast” in his weaknesses.

As I ponder many of Jesus commands, I am left with the distinct impression that the spiritual disciplines he commands us to do in secret (that’s right, so people can’t see and be impressed by what we are doing) are the practices he has set in place so that we won’t come away from life with false notions that it was our wisdom that achieved things.

Prayer

Prayer costs us. When I interview people at IHOPKC, it is the thing I tell them that will annoy them most at the six-month mark. Both private and public prayer cost us. We could be spending time doing stuff and planning on how to be more effective, but God says, “Speak to Me”. We could be preaching (even about prayer) so that others “get it”, but God says, “Seek My face” instead.

Expressing our utter helplessness before a Holy God preaches well, but it is hard to do. I am so thankful through the years when I have been in big planning meetings with Mike Bickle, that at prayer time, no matter where we are in the discussion, we go to prayer. It seems humanly foolish, but there is a heavenly wisdom to embracing such weakness.

Fasting

Not eating food and telling God what he tells us to tell him is another discipline that seems strange, but not in the upside down Kingdom that we read about in Jesus’ teaching. It is another way of God showing us that his power does not come through our plans but through our fuzzy headed weakness, so there can be no doubt about who should get the glory.

Giving

Here is another discipline that Jesus tells us to do in secret. Giving financially is not reserved for the wealthy (although the wealthy should give more), but it is the kingdom way of saying you will achieve more with the portion you have left after giving. It is another declaration of dependence upon the resources of heaven. It is another way of us joining with Paul to say, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10).

Sabbath Rest

Taking a one-day rest from work is challenging, especially when you have that feeling of urgency concerning the latest project that needs your attention. Rest is another way of declaring our dependence on the creator. This biblical principle is backed up by science, but it still seems so counterintuitive to our “get it done” approach.

The way to success in the Kingdom is really upside down from success before men. It’s simple, but it is challenging and there are no shortcuts, but the glory is that if we embrace weakness we really do find His grace and ultimately that’s all that matters.

Which of these four areas is easiest for you? Which do you find most challenging? Let us know in the comments!

Jono Hall

position

  • COO, IHOPKC
  • Director, Forerunner Media Institute, IHOPU

Originally from the United Kingdom, Jono has served on the IHOPKC senior leadership team since 2003. Prior to moving to Kansas City, Jono worked with GOD TV for four years. At IHOPKC, Jono has served in many areas, but has principally been responsible for the media reach of IHOPKC, launching the broadcasting and creative media areas at IHOPKC. Jono has also been an instructor at IHOPU in subjects such as church history, basic christian beliefs, and media production. Jono is married to Shari, and they have five children.

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