“There is no one on earth who can raise up another to grant honor, not from the east or the west, not from the desert. There is no one. God is the only One. God is the only Judge. He is the only One who can ruin or redeem a man [Psalms 75:6-7 – The Voice]”
During the early years of my career, I began to rely greatly on knowledge and experience. At this point in my life, I was far from God though I believed in Him, yet I did not have a relationship with Him.
I trusted God but also relied on people for information, knowledge and help. To some extent, I tasted success and experienced worldly growth in my life. I went to the extent of believing that when we tap into the right source of knowledge we can solve any problem, except that at that point the right source for me could be any person. My dependence was on man and not on God. I began to think I could handle any situation or solve any problem with the right contact. Very soon I would learn that no matter how knowledgeable a person I knew, there are some problems even they could not solve. I soon reached a stage where I had to put God first before anyone else or face misery. Since then I began to understand when God is first, he is the right source and all problems can be solved through him. Not just problems but all that I desired in the form of success and growth, I could only achieve through him.
The above verse says we can be exalted, honored, lifted up, promoted and succeed only through God, i.e. through our reliance and total dependence on God. All other forms of success are temporary. Take King Nebuchadnezzar of the Old Testament, for example, he was the mightiest and most successful in his time, but his success was self-reliant [Daniel 4:30] and he learnt that without God he could not hold on to that success. Because of his self-reliance, he lost it all and was reduced to nothing. He then turned to God [Daniel 4:34] and everything he had, was restored back to him [Daniel 4:36].
The example I gave was that of a person who did not (initially) believe in God, but the same fate can be experienced by one who believes in God but does not trust or depend on him. Knowing God does not ensure that we will always hold on to success. It is our dependence on him that gives us that surety. We have plenty of biblical examples like Abraham, Daniel, David, Joseph, etc from whom we can learn. Sometimes it is our own thinking that can be the greatest obstacle in trusting God like I shared about myself earlier when that is the case we go through hard knocks only to realize that our thinking was wrong and we need God to direct us.
“O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. [Jeremiah 10:23 – NKJV]”
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. [Proverbs 16:9 – NKJV]”