Monday, October 7, 2013

Campaigning for Promotion

"Because we children of Adam want to become great,
He became small.
Because we will not stoop,
He humbled Himself.
Because we want to rule,
He came to serve."

                                                       - J. Oswald Sanders

The above poem convicted me this morning of the desires of my heart and I wanted to share the following as an encouragement and a challenge to you as we, together, try to figure out how to live the lives we were meant to live.

Spiritual leadership is tricky. It is a balancing act and I admit that I often fall. As a man who wishes to be a spiritual leader in the places God has placed him, I often find myself "campaigning for promotion," as Sanders puts it. I aspire to be great. Don't we all? We have this desire for success and greatness. We don't want to have bosses, we want to be the boss! We don't want to be submissive to authorities over us, we want to be the authority that others have to submit to! Most of us are always, or at least most of the time "campaigning for promotion." 

But why is this wrong? Doesn't God want us to excel in the fields He has sovereignly placed us in? Doesn't He want us to be the best men and women that we can be? Yes. But we often thwart God's design for how success was meant to be. Success was and still is never to make our name great. Success is always to make God's name great and blare his name from the roof tops. 

However, I must admit that I don't always do this. Often times when I get to the "roof top," when I get recognized for an achievement, receive a compliment, or get promoted, I look down instead of looking up. I look down on the people under me and try to get their attention to look up at me in all of my proud glory. I look down, hoping that the people under me will appreciate me, like me, respect me, and say that they want to be just like me. I look down when all God wants me to do is look up. He wants me to look up at Him and see His glory. He wants me to look up at Him and see that He is the reason I am standing here. He wants me to look up at Him and direct the people around me to look up as well.  

But most importantly, He wants me to realize that I am not on the roof top. Isaiah 64:6 says that all of our righteous deeds put together are still filthy rags to God. We are all on the same playing field. If you haven't placed your faith in Christ before, it doesn't matter how much good you have done, you works are still filthy rags before a perfect and holy God. If you have placed your faith in Christ alone, then the only reason you have for boasting is in Christ. The only reason I can say or do anything good is because of Christ.

If there is one thing that I have learned in my life it is that God knows way better than me, yet I think my plans are better. I pray that God would continue to humble me and put me where He sees best, not where I think is best for me. He is infinite, I am finite. God, give me grace to never forget this. 

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