(week 43/11)
Olubi Johnson 

In our article last week, we saw that ‘bad’ success is intellectual, physical, material and financial success but at the cost of ‘leanness to the soul’; this week, we will see how to avoid this and get good, better and best success.

Psalms 106:14-15 KJV: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.  (15) And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

It is instructive to observe that our ‘souls’ can be likened to the ‘wilderness’ or ‘desert’: a place without water: a type of the life of God and vegetation and fruit: a type of the fruit of the Spirit.

When we get ‘born-again’, it is like natural Israel coming out of Egypt; crossing the Red Sea is like water baptism; the experience of the pillar of cloud and fire is like baptism in the Holy Spirit; the drinking water from the rock is like receiving the life of God through the written Word; eating manna daily is like getting spiritual nutrition from the Holy Spirit through the Word (1 Cor. 10:1-5). Their clothes and shoes not wearing out (Dt. 29:5) is divine provision and supply; their not being feeble (Ps. 105.37) is divine healing and health.

However, in spite of all these blessings, the majority (in fact all except two: Joshua and Caleb (Num.14:29-33)) of the people Israel over 20 years of age did not make it to the Promised Land but rather died in the wilderness.

Sadly, history is repeating itself: the majority of Christians do not transform the ‘wilderness’ of their souls into the ‘Promised Land’ of the prosperity of the soul; they experience a limited degree of God’s blessings, die physically and never enter the ‘Promised Land’.

Paul graphically describes this truth in

1Corinthians 10:1-5 KJV: Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; (2) And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;  (3) And did all eat the same spiritual meat;  (4) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.  (5) But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

However, the good news is that in this third day, God is revealing to the Church how to get the best success, which is only available in the Promised Land of the prosperity of the soul in the perfection and fullness of Christ: hence this message.

How then do we get this good, better and ultimately, best success?

By possessing our souls with patience through enduring hardness as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 21:19 KJV: In your patience possess ye your souls.

2Timothy 2:3 KJV: Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

It takes patience, or consistency of the application of the blood, the Word and the Spirit in habitual daily prayer, study of the Word and walking in the Spirit to ‘possess’ or save your soul.

In fact, the goal our Christian faith is to save our souls: this does not mean just going to heaven. It means to experience the total humility of the will, renewing of the mind and control of the emotions by the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).

1Peter 1:9 AMP:  [At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

We need to understand that there is a dynamic in this: you can gain ground in your soul and you also can, by not continuing in prayer and the Word, lose ground in your soul.

This is what the Bible means when it says you can lose your soul: it does not only mean going to hell for the unbeliever; for the Christian it means losing ground you have gained previously.

Matthew 16:26 KJV: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

For instance, John the Baptist lost ground in his soul, when he lost (Lk. 7:19-28), because of offence, the revelation that he originally had (Jn. 1:26-36), that the Lord Jesus was the Christ.

Many Christians in their quest to gain the world: to gratify the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:15), gradually lose battle for the salvation of their souls.

It is ironic because you will never gain the whole world, no matter how much intellectual, physical, material and financial gain you get; and then you still lose the salvation of your soul: a lose-lose scenario.

However, if you make the salvation of your soul: which translates in practice to the experience of the perfection of Christ in you, the highest priority of your life and you attain it; you will then also inherit the whole world, a win-win scenario.

1Corinthians 3:21-23 KJV: Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; (22) Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;  (23) and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

Revelation 21:7 KJV: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

So, it makes perfect sense to make your priorities spiritual, rather than intellectual, physical, material and financial, since the Lord Jesus promised that if you seek first the Kingdom of God, all other things will be added and you would receive a 100-fold in this life-time of whatever you had to temporarily set aside in your quest for the Kingdom: perfection (Mt. 6:3; Mk. 10:29-30).

In our article next week, we will see in more detail how to possess or save your soul and the blessing of the best success in the Promised Land of the salvation of your soul.