William James - author, philosopher, and psychologist - told us over a hundred years ago that success is the national disease of America. He went on further to say that success had become the “bitch-goddess” that allures us, captivates us, and then captures us to be its own servant. That’s a pretty rough phrase, I’ll give you that. You probably won’t hear it from your church’s pulpit. And maybe that’s part of the problem; we’ve a few too many pastors and not enough prophets.Success as the world defines has become a god to us. Yet the first of the Ten Commandments is “You shall have no other gods before me.” We may not have put success before the Lord God but we’ve sure put it alongside. Moses feared success for his people more than he feared a life in the wilderness. He warned his people of the dangers. Make sure you don’t forget God, your God, by not keeping his commandments, his rules and regulations that I command you today. Make sure that when you eat and are satisfied, build pleasant houses and settle in, see your herds and flocks flourish and more and more money come in, watch your standard of living going up and up—make sure you don’t become so full of yourself and your things that you forget God, your God,
the God who delivered you from Egyptian slavery;the God who led you through that huge and fearsome wilderness,those desolate, arid badlands crawling with fiery snakes and scorpions;the God who gave you water gushing from hard rock;the God who gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never heard of, in order to give you a taste of the hard life, to test you so that you would be prepared to live well in the days ahead of you.
If you start thinking to yourselves, “I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!”—well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today. From my latest book Inside Job: Doing The Work Within The Work (Due for release June, 2015 by InterVarsity Press)