I’ve always been a very ambitious person. For example, early on, God put it into my heart to be a pastor. I remember growing up: Pastor Henning, standing up in front of the congregation in his black robe, speaking the words of the liturgy with authority: “I said I will my confess my transgressions unto the Lord!” And I knew, “That’s what I wanted to do.” And one day, coming out of church, I grabbed Pastor Henning’s hand and declared to him in front of my mother and the entire church, “Pastor Henning, when you die, I’m going to have your job!” If my mother could have sunk into the tile floor she would have! Ambitious, wouldn’t you say?
We have all kinds of ambitions: some career, some achievement, some improvement in our life. But what is it that drives you to get it done? For most of us, we would have say that our motives are not always in line with God’s. It’s not that God doesn’t want us to accomplish things, but he wants us to do it for the right reason.
But where does ambition lead you? And what motivates those ambitions? The answer to those two questions is very crucial. You may gain career advancement, but lose the love of your family—worth it? You may so desire the love of another person, even your spouse, that you desperately cling to them begging them to love you back that, in the end, they stop loving you because you chased them away. You may desire a career or a lifestyle that your parents disapprove of. Is it worth it to achieve your ambition, but lose their respect? Or, if getting your goal means losing the love of God, have you gained anything? Wasn’t it Jesus who said, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world yet forfeit his soul?” If you are pursuing your goals because you’re the big shot who makes the calls in your life, then you might as well be storming into God’s Temple and ordering him around.
Not a good idea. Not if you value your soul.
Here's a better one: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” That's Jesus. He came with godly ambition: to die in your place for your sin; to live his life focused on only one ambition--God's. The perfect ambition of service to God that we just can’t do, Jesus did, to fulfill God’s requirement for you. And by keeping God’s will and following it all the way to the cross, Jesus purchased you back from your selfish ambition.
So let’s get rid of these selfish ambitions. It’s not that we shouldn’t achieve goals anymore, but we don’t need to be selfish. Jesus set you free from that sin, so don’t live in it any longer. Take a look at why you want to achieve things and if you find that it’s selfish, let it go, you don't need that, you don't want that. You want to serve like Jesus served you.
That’s getting it done God’s way.
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