In Psalm 18, there is one verse that says it all: "As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him" (v. 30, NKJV). To walk through this life with God's success, we must walk in His ways, live by His Word and trust in Him.
A successful person in God's view is one who walks daily in God's Spirit and obeys His Word. The only work we do on this earth that will remain eternally are those things done not by our own self-effort but by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God.
The key to walking daily in the Spirit is to trust God with all of our hearts and lean not on our own understanding (see Prov. 3:5-6). As we trust God with all of our hearts, He will prove His Word to be true in this life.
Every day we trust what we are hearing from the Lord through His Word and through the promptings of the Holy Spirit. When we act in faith upon His Word and His guidance, God will work through us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (see Phil. 2:13). We believe and trust, and He accomplishes His will through our lives.
The perfect illustration of this was an experience Arthur Burt had when he was on a bus in England. Arthur is an evangelist from Wales, and God uses him mightily even now when he is in his 90s.
He shares a story about riding a bus when it was pouring down rain outside. Suddenly he heard the following instruction: "Get off the bus at the next stop."
He argued with this still quiet voice and said, "But it is pouring down rain outside, and I have not arrived at my destination." Thus ensued a battle Arthur describes as a battle between "the fanatic in the attic" and "the fellow in the cellar."
Sometimes the Holy Spirit asks us to do things that are not reasonable in the natural. The Holy Spirit was asking Arthur to do something past his human logic. The fellow in the cellar that was Arthur's flesh was saying, "It's pouring outside, and besides, the next stop is not my stop." The fanatic in the attic won the war, and Arthur got off the bus.
As he ran for shelter he saw a car approaching him. Then the car stopped right in front of him, and he recognized a lady he had met at some of his meetings. She yelled past the rolling thunder, "Arthur Burt, is that you?"
He replied, "Yes," and then she offered him a lift.
He gladly got in her car, and then she asked, "If you don't have anything to do in the next two hours, would you like to accompany me to a prayer meeting?" He didn't have anything pressing, so he answered in the affirmative.
That prayer meeting where he ended up sharing from the Scriptures turned out to be one of the most powerful meetings Arthur had ever led. Since that experience Arthur tries to obey quickly that still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit, even when it seems illogical.
God's ways are higher than ours. Therefore, we must trust him and lean not to our own understanding.