Gold miners, during the American Gold Rush of the 1800s, comprised mainly of inexperienced fortune seekers and amateur miners such as farmers, tried unsuccessfully to compete with well-financed businessmen, experienced miners and mining operations.
Many people and corporations found great wealth through their gold mining efforts. Many more went broke and died in their failed efforts.
Some succeeded and others failed for various reasons which ranged from careful planning, diligence and hard work. But there were three primary reasons between success and failure in this great treasure hunt.
The first and main difference between those who were successful and those who failed was knowing WHERE to mine.
The second difference was knowing HOW to mine.
And finally, knowing WHAT to mine (referring to the grade of the gold ore).
“Don’t be stupid: Look for gold where there is gold. Dig for it. Dig it up. Forget all the other shiny stuff – Gold is the Goal.”
BLACK GOLD FEVER
The same was could be said of those seeking to strike it rich in the great American Oil Rush of the mid-to-late 1800s. Some knew WHERE to drill, but did not know HOW to effectively and efficiently drill, so they failed and many died in the rough and tumble rush to find the elusive ‘black gold’. There were a few who knew both WHERE to drill and HOW to drill and would come close to success. But those who knew HOW and WHERE to drill coupled with knowing WHAT to drill for (referring to the grade of the pol), became enormously successful and very rich.
John D. Rockefeller is the premier example of someone who could do it all. He knew WHERE, HOW and WHAT, and as a result He founded the world’s largest oil company, Standard Oil, and became incredibly wealthy, (although he was not one the most loved man to ever live).
Conversely, a dramatic example of someone who would fail in spectacular fashion during the Black Gold (oil) Rush a man named Edwin Drake who was hired by Bissell and Townsend in 1857 to travel to Titusville, Pennsylvania and drill for crude oil. Drake was an unemployed railroad conductor whose sole qualification for this job seems to have been a free railroad pass that allowed travel to Titusville. Drake secured some land and reported back that he believed the land was oil rich and the oil industry could be extremely profitable. In 1858, the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company became the Seneca Oil Company with Drake as president.
Soon Drake began drilling for oil in Titusville, near the shores of Oil Creek, but at first met with little success. He used an old steam engine to drill. Many of his drilling sites only yielded trace amounts of oil. He and his assistant, blacksmith Billy Smith, endured fires, financial setbacks, and the ridicule of the local inhabitants. When the Seneca Oil Company gave up and decided to withdraw its funding, Drake obtained a personal line of credit to continue digging. On August 27, 1859, Drake struck oil at 69 feet (21 m) below ground, just before his funds ran out. This marked the beginning of drastic change for the people of Western Pennsylvania. His drilling is considered the "first large-scale commercial extraction of petroleum".
Unfortunately for Drake, his success would not last. He had not purchased much land in the region, and the oil industry exploded around him outside of his control. His first well yielded only modest returns and he was fired by Seneca. He never patented the drilling method he pioneered, and lost his modest earnings from the oil business speculating on Wall Street. He would eventually die a poor pensioner in 1880.
“Don’t be stupid: Look for oil where there is oil. Drill for it. Pump it out. Forget all the other wet stuff – Oil is the Goal.”
There are discoverable rules against failure and for success. The foregoing examples are from this temporal world. Men and women live and then die and soon enough, are forgotten. Their successes fade from memory and their wealth is divided and spent among the living.
The Book of Ecclesiastes puts it this way, ‘For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6)
There is another realm which is largely ignored by the majority of the world, and even its adherents considered it mysterious. It is the Spiritual Realm. The Realm of God.
The Bible, which is accounted as have being written by human hands under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, gives great detail and instruction on this realm - the Kingdom of God. So popular is the Bible and its perceived secrets of ‘living a successful life’ that In fact, The Guinness Book of World Records reveals that the Christian Bible is the best-selling book of all time. It is impossible to know exactly how many copies have been printed in the roughly 1500 years since its contents were standardized, but research conducted by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 2021 suggests that the total number probably lies between 5 and 7 billion copies.
There are numerous verses in the Bible which give careful and precise instruction on being successful. The key, however, is knowing and understanding the Bible’s unique and specific definition of success.
(The following is an excerpt from GotQuetions.Org),
“If you were to ask a random person on the street, how do you think he or she would define success? People would probably give lots of different answers. One might say success is being wealthy. Another might define success as having a good family and kids. Still another might say success is being healthy and enjoying a long life. For every ten people asked, you may find twenty different ideas of success!
“When it comes to understanding what the Bible says about success, it is helpful to see how the Bible addresses some of the definitions of success that people in our world have.
“When it comes to having lots of money, the Bible says that God is the one who makes someone wealthy. Proverbs 22:2 states, “Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all.” Note that the writer doesn’t say, “Maker of both.” Rather, he says, “Maker of them all.” The declaration here is that God is the giver of all things to all people.
“When it comes to the skills and abilities that lead to success in various fields, we see the same emphasis in the Bible—God is the giver. Consider 1 Corinthians 4:7, “For who makes you to differ from anyone else? What do you have that you have not received?” The implication in these questions is that our abilities and skills come from God.
“How about the issue of influence and power? In John 19:11, after Pilate tells Jesus that he has the power to free Him or crucify Him, Jesus replies, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” So even earthly authority, by which some measure success, is a gift from God.
“These are just a few verses declaring that everything, every ability, and every position is God’s gift. John the Baptist summarizes in John 3:37, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.” If any person can do anything defined as “successful,” it is only because God has given him or her that ability.
“What is more, the things we may consider marks of success may not be what God views as valuable. In 1 John 2:15–17, things in this world are put in perspective:
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
“This passage covers everything in this world that we might be tempted to think gives success. If we are loving these things and pursuing them, thinking joy and satisfaction are found in them, we will find them to be empty. The gain of this world is not a true mark of success.
“God defines success quite simply. In John 17:3, Jesus declares, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom who have sent.” Psalm 16:11 states, “You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” In Luke 10:20, Jesus says,
“Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in the book of life.” From these passages we can deduce that ultimate success is being saved and knowing God. “Eternal life” in John 17:3 isn’t just a length of time but a quality of life. Eternal life is awesome because we are known by God and are in His presence, where there is fullness of joy. We are not to rejoice because of our abilities, victories, and possessions in this world. True success in which we rejoice is overcoming this world, being saved, and going to be with Jesus in heaven.
“God measures success differently than the world does. Jesus said, “It is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest” (Luke 9:48; cf. Mark 9:35). Wealth, skill, and influence are irrelevant to true, eternal success. Biblical success that pleases and glorifies God is being known by Him and knowing and serving Him through faith in Jesus Christ and His gospel.” (End excerpt).
One example of the Bible instructing on and promising success is found in the first chapter of the book of Joshua. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
Similar to the foregoing three primary reasons between success and failure, a parallel can be drawn in this, the greatest of all treasure hunts. Knowing WHERE to look, knowing HOW to search, and finally, knowing WHAT you are searching for. In this case,
Where you search is in The Book of The Law (The Torah, or the Bible).
How you search is with all diligence; what you learn you shall keep with you; you will meditate on it day and night; you will be careful to do everything in accordance with all that is written in it.
What you are searching for is to make your way prosperous and successful.
One of several places this instruction is confirmed, by Jesus, is in John 15:7-8, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples.”
Where you remain is in Jesus and His words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart.
How you prosper and have success is that you ask and whatever you wish and it will be done for you.
What you ask is that The My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be Jesus’ [true] disciples.”
The most mysterious and interesting claim about this Kingdom is that all that has ever existed and everything that now exists, springs from the Spiritual Realm. And, if you possess the knowledge and wisdom of God, you can possess all this Kingdom has to offer.
John 1:1, tells us that “In the beginning [before all-time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. Verse 2. He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God. Verse 3. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being.”
Jesus instructs us, in Matthew chapter 5:3, that, “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those who are crushed in their soul, devoid of spiritual arrogance, stripped of all personal significance and possession; those who regard themselves as completely dependent], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].
“Don’t be stupid: Look for God where God is. Look for Truth and Wisdom. Dig for it. Dig it up. Forget all the other smart sounding stuff – God is the Goal.”
Finally, knowing WHAT you are looking for and staying focused on that, is paramount.
Jesus spoke these oft misunderstood words in Matthew 11:12 “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violent assault, and the violent take it by force (as a precious prize). Jesus is talking about the greatest rush to find the greatest treasure ever known.
No, It is not a gold rush, nor is it an oil rush. (These things fade away). This is all about The Rush to find the Kingdom of God; the search for the greatest gift and the greatest treasure, ever: God and His Son, Jesus.
Now - know His purpose:
The Purpose of God’s Eternal Plan is Perfection. Everything that occurs in your life, as a Christian, is all about God maturing and perfecting you into His image; ultimately to live in Perfect harmony with Him and with one another, in a New and Perfect heaven and earth.
“Because by a single offering He has made perfect for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14
Each and every chapter, verse and word in the Bible, when viewed within this context of God’s Eternal Plan of Perfection, begins to make perfect sense.
He began with the imperfect and created the Masterpiece, first in the heavens and then on the earth. His work completed in just seven days; He would allow His Masterpiece to mature for many a millennium until it became His Perfection.
Your life is a journey of discovery and revelation of God’s Grand Plan and Design, from creation through the End of the Age, then into a New Heaven and a New Earth.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
Your Brother and Friend,