The world defines success as the obtaining of power and/or the accumulation of wealth and fame. In the Kingdom of God, the successful person learns the principles of the kingdom and applies them for the good of mankind and for the honor and glory of God (see Proverbs 2:10-11, 4:7, 9:10, 22:1). The Westminster shorter Catechism says that man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Anyone who has learned to glorify and enjoy God can be considered truly successful.
To the Christian, the ultimate success, according to Jesus, is not to have devils subject to you or to do mighty works or great deeds, but to have your name written in the Book of Life. (see Luke 10:20). Primarily, success for us should mean being saved and knowing we will go to heaven. Beyond that, success means to learn and to apply heavenly principles here on earth.
There is nothing wrong with being successful financially, but you must be careful not to make riches and honor your god. The Bible tells us, “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4). If a man is humble before God and learns to fear the Lord, he will be granted riches, honor, and life as a result. Jesus Christ said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). In God’s eyes, the successful person is the one who lives within the kingdom and by its rules. Worldly possessions are of secondary importance.
Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life’s Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson.