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Turn on the TV and you’ll see all kinds of gurus telling you how to be successful and fulfilled. You’ll see people dispensing advice on successful relationships.

Proverbs 2 is a father’s appeal to a son; this father wants what’s best for his son. The dad is Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. He wants his son to be a success, but not in the way we usually think about it.

He wants his son to be a spiritual success. But Proverbs 2 is more than an ancient sage appealing to his son. It’s God appealing to and instructing us. God wants us to be spiritually successful.

So what does Solomon and God have to say to us about spiritual success?
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as hidden treasures,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God,” Proverbs 2:1-5.
First of all, spiritual success is conditional; it won’t happen automatically. Notice how many times Solomon says ‘if’ before he gets to the ‘then’ – if you receive my words; if you call out; if you seek it like silver then you will understand.

We must pursue God whole-heartedly. If we pursue God through Bible intake, prayer, fellowship, preaching and reading books, He promises to freely give grace. Seeking God is like turning on a faucet; millions of gallons of water are just waiting to quench our thirst, but we have to turn on the faucet. God has bags and bags of grace stored up for us, but we must pursue him.

The fear of the Lord is not slavish, grovelling fear but a healthy knowledge of God’s holiness. It’s knowing that God hates sin and will not be mocked if we wilfully go on in it. I don’t go around all the time fearing that God will suddenly strike me down with lightning. But I know that if I give in to certain temptations, God will deal with it. He’s not mocked.

‘Find the knowledge of God’ doesn’t mean we merely get knowledge about God; it means to know God personally. Jesus came to reveal the Father and bring us to him. There is nothing sweeter than an intimate relationship with God through Jesus. This is the ultimate success and this should be our ultimate goal in life.

Jabulani Shongwe

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