Who holds the critical success factors?

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Who holds the critical success factors?

Everyone from A-list actors to gospel singers is in a mad dash to share their secrets of success with the world. Usually these keys are said to be the sole way they or anybody else will ever achieve. The essence of the success keys can be boiled down to a list of just seven things: the seven keys to financial wealth, the twelve keys to a more powerful life, or the three keys to a more peaceful life.

Over the course of my 35 years of religious devotion, I've prayed for answers to countless puzzling questions. While I was unsure of the answer to the question "what is success?" for the first half of that time period, in the past few years I have been convinced. I learned this by comparing the lives of the successful with those of the so-called "losers," and the most surprising thing I learned during my year-long quest was that one's own definition of success is the most important factor in determining whether or not one is considered successful.

A person at the top of their game can still be a failure if their own definition of success is flawed. Those who are now considered unsuccessful would be seen as thriving. Just what does that entail?

One of Satan's temptations to Jesus Christ was the offer of the position of ruler or greatest supervisor of the entire known world at the time (Luke 4:5-6).Not many people will ever be made that kind of an offer, even though many will try for it in various ways. Antiochus Epiphanes, Caesar, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and many more have tried to rise to power using questionable methods in eras past and present. Very few people have ever asked me where Satan got all those kingdoms, and I have never heard anyone else wonder that either. What gives him the right to give them away to just anyone, and how could he even consider doing so?

Before we get caught down in theological muddle, let's take a brief look at who Satan actually isn't. He's not the kind of Hollywood ugly that would dare God's lowly cherubs to a fight and win. In contrast to Dante's Inferno, he does not rule over Hades but rather is its most prominent sufferer. He is not the ghost who briskly walks past the titillated members of the satanic cult during their worship service. When the Bible refers to him as the ruler of the "cosmos," it is another way of expressing that he is the ruler of the "global system of evil," which encompasses everything. All minor temptations and callings, in addition to power, fame, and riches, are under his control. He has been doling out these benefits for centuries, and he has no plans to stop until Jesus returns.

I always assume that the affluent tycoon who goes on a talk program and claims to have discovered the keys to their success is completely clueless. They probably don't even know the location of the door, let alone the location of the key. My skepticism is warranted when a lauded actor who has sullied the honor of the film industry claims to have cracked the code on how to replicate his or her success. Until their own death and resurrection, I highly doubt they will understand that they played zero role in their own success. They were given it. Someone who had previously offered it to Christ is the one who gave it to you. And the Devil, taking him up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. "All this power will I give thee, and to whomever I will give it," Satan said. So, if you'll just bow down to me, everything will be yours. Luke 4:1–7

Most of the keys offered to the unsuspecting are no more than someone’s prideful accounting of the steps they think they ordered so perfectly by which they rose to the top. Human pride is the perfect cloak to cover their eyes from seeing the simple fact that they got none of their booty or fame by their own power. It was given to them. Before you go preaching the gospel of your success, it would do well to check out the source of your success.

The source of worldly success is rarely ever questioned in this world. Put it down to the fact that the God of this world has no plans to reveal himself as the origin of such a statement. Men usually gauge success by the product of their lives or efforts, and almost never do they question the source. They think only of themselves as the source and the product as the proof. If you make tons of money, you have succeeded, even if you sell porn to get it. If you are the governor or ruler of a kingdom, you have succeeded, regardless of how much you don’t care about the ruled or how you got your power. If you are known the world over as an actor, that proves your success even if your movies betray everything that is right and good or holy.

Still looking for a key to success? Let me offer one key, I can’t take credit for this key because it is God given. But without this key everything you do will count as a failure even your successes. It is what the Bible calls the "Key of David."

"…these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth, and shutteth, and no man openeth. Revelation 3:7."
And what is the key of David? What you believe in is the Lord Jesus Christ and what he did for you in his life, death, and resurrection. Clearly, if you have not placed your life in his hands, you have not succeeded. You can die poor, unhealthy, and unknown, but you will still have succeeded if your life is in his hands. That’s success!

I’ll go one step further. I'll even show you the door that the key unlocks. The rest is up to you. Jesus said, "I am the door; whoever enters through me shall be saved, and shall walk in and out and find pasture." John 10:9

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