“Success is attainable; success is desirable; success is promised by God; and nothing on earth can be more bitter to the soul of the minister than the lack of it. To walk with God, to be faithful to our trust, is declared to be the certain way of attaining it. How much depends on the holiness of our life, the consistency of our character, the heavenliness of our walk and conversation!
Our position is such that we cannot remain neutral. Our life cannot be one of harmless obscurity. We must either repel or attract–save or ruin souls! How loud then, the call, how strong the motive, to spirituality of soul and a careful life! How solemn the warning against worldly-mindedness and vanity, against levity and frivolity, against negligence, sloth, and cold formality!
Of all men, a minister of Christ is especially called to walk with God. Everything depends on this; his own peace and joy, his own future reward at the coming of the Lord. But God especially points to this as the true and sure way of securing blessing, the grand secret of ministerial success. One who walks with God reflects the light of His countenance on a dark world; and the closer he walks, the more of this light he reflects… One who walks with God receives and gives life wherever he goes, just as it is written, out of him “shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38)… His life is blessed, his example is blessed, his social interaction is blessed, his words are blessed, his ministry is blessed!”
Horatius Bonar, Words to Winners of Souls, c.1860. Revised and updated.