Following methods of past successes can lead to failure …
Just because God directs you to victory a certain way at a certain time doesn’t mean you should always practice that specific guidance in all future, similar situations.
In fact, not seeking God’s specific direction for each situation we face in life can lead to failure. The reason is we can too easily trust in past methods for victory rather than in God, who originally guided us to victory.
Here’s a great example from the life of King David. When the Philistines rose up against him, David sought direction from the Lord.
the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king of Israel, they
mobilized all their forces to capture him. But David was told they were
coming, so he went into the stronghold. 18 The Philistines arrived and spread out across the valley of Rephaim. 19 So David asked the Lord, ‘Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?’ The Lord replied to David, ‘Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.’ 20 So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. ‘The Lord
did it!’ David exclaimed. ‘He burst through my enemies like a raging
flood!’ So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means ‘the Lord who
bursts through’),” 2 Samuel 5:17-20.
Even though David experienced a great victory over the Philistines in that situation, he didn’t assume he should face all such situations the same way. That was wise thinking because the Philistines did, indeed, return. And this time, God had different instructions for David.
“22 But after a while the Philistines returned and again spread out across the valley of Rephaim. 23 And again David asked the Lord what to do. ‘Do not attack them straight on,’ the Lord replied. ‘Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar trees. 24 When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, be on the alert! That will be the signal that the Lord is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.’ 25 So David did what the Lord commanded, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer,” 2 Samuel 5:22-25.
Had David not sought God first when the Philistines returned, but simply relied on past success, he would have struck out for a battle that God would not have been leading.
To have “success” in life through God requires seeking God every day, in every situation, rather than relying on the methods of our past successes. That’s because it is God Himself who brings us victory, not the methodology He may have us employ in a given situation.
It’s not uncommon for a Christian to find himself knocked down in failure, and confused by it, thinking he had done exactly what God had him do the last time he was in a similar situation. The person is bewildered, wondering why he suffered failure this time. The answer is because he was trusting a previously successful method rather than God Himself, who made the method successful the last time.
God wants us to seek Him daily so He can lead and direct us anew, and so that our trust can be fresh every day.
Are you looking to past successes for the victories you need in life? Or are you daily seeking God and trusting Him rather than methods?