Isaiah 26:8,9 (NKJV)  “…The desire of our soul is for Your name and remembrance of You.  With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early;”

The formula for success is, in my estimate, simple.  Desire first, plus discipline will equal success.  

I’m an archer and bowhunter.  God gifted me with a degree of natural ability to shoot a bow well. However, my desire to be a great archer and proficient hunter, drives the discipline required to hone the God given skills to attain desired success.  

Apply this reasoning to yourself and everything you have been successful in. Look especially at instances you surpass others in a given endeavor.  As I examine my own life, every successful facet of it follows this equation.  I have never been successful unless I first desire it, set goals and discipline myself to the steps necessary to achieve.  I have never achieved great success on talent, desire or discipline alone.  I’ve been lucky, good or average, but never realized full success.

When you approach your relationship with Jesus, what do you desire?  Are you satisfied with your walk with God?  Do you feel as though you are experiencing success in your relationship and witness?  I believe many Christian’s desire, mine included, has been to not be “bad”.  “Don’t do that!  That’s bad, stay away!  Why did I do that?!  Don’t wanna screw up!  Focus, focus, focus on not being a bad person!”  I think this is the wrong desire, a misplaced focus.  When we focus on not being bad, sinful, wrong, our focus is on bad, sinful and wrong.  In Isaiah 26:8,9 the bible is telling us what we should desire.  We should desire God!  That’s where our focus should be.  When we are focused on what not to do, the negative, it is extremely hard to clearly see what we should do, the positive.  Desire Him, always, from dawn to dusk.  Desire His heart, His word, His community, His grace, His RIGHTEOUSNESS!  If we desire God’s righteousness, that’s our focus, our sinful actions will become easier and easier to address.  They will begin to topple due expressly to our desired pursuit of Jesus Christ.  Desire, focus on the positive not the negative.  First part of the equation, without the desire you will not want to discipline yourself in action.

1 Corinthians 9:27 (NKJV)  “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection…”

I can desire to be the greatest archer, business man, husband, father, friend, athlete, child of God the world has ever known.  However, without disciplined action, those desires would remain just that, desires.  I don’t presume to believe that because I desire a specific outcome, discipline myself to the necessary actions, it will happen, only that it cannot happen if I don’t.  Discipline, commit ourselves to our desire.  We have to discipline ourselves to thoughtful, purposeful pursuit of God’s righteousness.  Without discipline all we have is desire and one without the other will not lead to success.

1 Corinthians 14:40 (NKJV)  “Let all things be done decently in order.”  

Discipline for most will require a plan.  Without a map, I don’t know many who will arrive at an unfamiliar destination.  We have to know where we are going in order to know how, where and what we are disciplining ourselves to.  Fortunately, the plan is already written.  Here’s our first discipline, read our bible.  Through our time in study of God’s word, we’ll quickly begin uncovering the plan, the course God wants us on.  Set goals, make a plan and discipline ourselves to its execution.

Proverbs 25:28 (NKJV)  “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.”

We cannot allow complacency and laziness to derail us.  Just like all arenas we wish to be successful in, we must be disciplined in diligence.  

Desire plus discipline equals success.  We will fall short, for sure, but we will then get up dust ourselves off and persevere.  I doubt many of you have been successful in very many areas of life without acquiring some bumps, bruises and even some blood along the way.  The bibles says it very plainly, you can’t have SUCCESS without the DESIRE and DISCIPLINE!   

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy!

Scott Pace