Ready To Launch (Part 3)

Rhordan Wicks


God prepares those he promotes – yet the promotion itself can be a test. Success can bring popularity and praise, which in turn easily breed moral complacency. We might begin to see ourselves as the sole author of our victories. However, this does not mean we should reject success. Rather, let us check our heart’s attitude towards it. All success is a gift from God for the purpose of serving others.

With this in mind, we return to the story of David and the people around him, who give us both positive and negative examples of responding to success.


  1. Success invites popularity. The danger of popularity is that it can blind us to the truth of who we are. Our sense of reality becomes warped and builds up our pride. This is a story that has played out many times.

    Read 1 Samuel 15:1-23 and 2 Samuel 11.

    a. What were Saul and David guilty of? Why did they commit their guilty acts?

    At what point could they have chosen differently? How should they have handled their success?

    What success have you found in your life so far? For example, is there something you are good at that you take pride in, or have received praise for?

    d. When you received the praise and success, how did it make you feel? How did you respond? Were you a Saul or a David, or neither?

  2. Read 2 Samuel 23:13-17.

    a. Why did David refuse to drink the water he was given?

    What did David do instead? Why?

    c. To whom or what do you attribute your successes? If you had help from others, how have you given recognition to their contribution or sacrifice? Do you believe that your success would not have come about without God? If so, have you given God due recognition?

    d. What does it mean to recognise God?

  3. Read Psalm 72, of Solomon.

    a. What ‘successes’ did Solomon pray for? Why?

    b. What ‘successes’ are you praying for? Why?


When we recognise that any success we receive comes from the Lord, then we can maintain the right heart attitude. We are all the stories of someone else’s success that has lifted us up. Identify one of your recent successes or something you have done well in (E.g. a promotion at work, doing well in a subject at school). How have you used that success or trait to serve others?


In 1996, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals had this to say in what was called the Cambridge Declaration, which may be worth reflecting on:

“The loss of God’s centrality in the life of today’s church is common and lamentable. It is this loss that allows us to transform worship into entertainment, gospel preaching into marketing, believing into technique, being good into feeling good about ourselves, and faithfulness into being successful. As a result, God, Christ and the Bible have come to mean too little to us and rest too inconsequentially upon us.

God does not exist to satisfy human ambitions, cravings, the appetite for consumption, or our own private spiritual interests. We must focus on God in our worship, rather than the satisfaction of our personal needs. God is sovereign in worship; we are not. Our concern must be for God’s kingdom, not our own empires, popularity or success.”

How does this relate to the message today? How should we think about success, in relation to our worship?


“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  – Philippians 4:11-13 (ESV)