IF success comes from God, THEN inputs > outcomes

David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting….Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all…Everything comes from you.” (1 Chronicles 29:10, 12, 14)

The context of today’s passage adds weight to David’s words. Here’s the scene: David is addressing Israel in what was likely his final public address as king. The next day, Solomon will take David’s place and soon become the wealthiest man on earth. 

What would David say at the close of his forty-year reign? He chose to focus his son and his people’s attention on the truth that “wealth and honor” and “everything” good comes from God.

This is a truth we see reiterated throughout Scripture. James said, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). The Apostle Paul said that even “our competence comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).

Every good thing you have—from your wealth, to your success at work, to the breath in your lungs—is from God. Let me suggest three responses to that truth.

First, praise God for whatever wealth and results he has given you knowing that he will only give you the amount that is perfectly suited for your good and his glory (see Romans 8:28-29). 

Second, steward God’s gifts according to his agenda, rather than your own. Because if he’s the giver of the gift, he gets to dictate how you use it.

Finally, focus on inputs rather than outcomes. This last response is super tough for me and probably you. So allow me to go a bit deeper here. 

Let’s say you’re working really hard to achieve a specific goal by the end of this week. If, come Friday, you can honestly say you pursued that goal as best as you know how, you can rest before you even know whether or not you hit your target. Not because the world tells you “you are enough.” But because the results were never in your hands in the first place.

Because “wealth and honor” and success come from God alone you can rest anytime you have faithfully put in the work and the “inputs”—not just when you’ve achieved your desired outcome. 

Christian Olympian Eric Liddell once said, “In the dust of defeat as well as in the laurel of victory, there is glory to be found if one has done his best.” Amen. Based on that truth, work hard from a position of rest today!


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