A Centenniel Formula for Success
Since we’re a generation huge on sound-bite success formulas, here’s one more—a short, punchy guarantee for success. Its genius is its simplicity—you can memorize it in twenty seconds.
A hundred years ago this year a short 5’3” woman breathed her last. But when she died, she left a legacy so stunning they’re still unpacking it! With her education cut short by a debilitating accident while in elementary school, the girl grew up and at the age of 17 received a dramatic divine calling to devote the rest of her life to speaking, writing, organizing, leading, visioning, mentoring, preaching, and evangelizing across this nation—and eventually with more speaking, writing, organizing, leading, visioning, mentoring, preaching and evangelizing globally. As it turns out, this seventeen-year-old who said Yes to God’s call ended up investing the rest of her life, 70 years in a tireless mission and ministry for her Savior.
And when Ellen White died in 1915, she became the most translated American author ever (male or female) and the third most translated author in the world today, with a literary output totaling 100,000 pages (the equivalent of 25 million words) and 128 book titles in print today. As the result of her ministry and spiritual leadership, she helped guide her community of faith (the Seventh-day Adventist church) to become the largest Protestant educational system in the world, the largest Protestant health system in the world, the largest Protestant publishing enterprise in the world, and the most expansive Protestant missions outreach today in more countries than any other denomination.
But on a personal note I have discovered in her writings three fiery passions that flame up in my own heart whenever I read her:
1. A passion for the Savior:
“. . . look to Christ. Let the mind dwell upon His love, upon the beauty, the perfection, of His character. Christ in His self-denial, Christ in His humiliation, Christ in His purity and holiness, Christ in His matchless love—this is the subject for the soul’s contemplation. It is by loving Him, copying Him, depending wholly upon Him, that you are to be transformed into His likeness” (Steps to Christ 70).
2. A passion for the Word of God:
“The Bible is God’s voice speaking to us, just as surely as though we could hear it with our ears. If we realized this, with what awe would we open God’s word, and with what earnestness would we search its precepts! The reading and contemplation of the Scriptures would be regarded as an audience with the Infinite One” (6T 393).
3. A passion for the salvation of the lost:
“As I have thought of that cup trembling in the hands of Christ [in Gethsemane]; as I have realized that He might have refused to drink, and left the world to perish in its sin, I have pledged that every energy of my life should be devoted to the work of winning souls to Him” (9T 103).
No other writer I’ve read is so saturated with these three as this woman.
So what’s that punchy success formula? “Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful” (2 Chronicles 20:20 NIV). You can memorize it in twenty seconds. But it’s a promise for a lifetime. Check it out for yourself—go online and read the short classic Steps to Christ (it’s the book that radically changed my own life at 22) or browse through the apocalyptic classic Great Controversy (www.egwwritings.org and click on to eBooks).
Been there and done that? Then in the words of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, “Taste them again for the first time.” And why not reconnect with this gift and its promise? Because isn’t it the right time to operationalize God’s success formula in your life, too?