We all know that guy who is always selling himself- the big stories, the careful image built to project the right perception, positioning himself to know people with influence. I suppose that is one path to one kind of success but self-promotion is not a pretty sight to see, in my opinion. There is nothing wrong with aspiring to leadership or desiring to gain a place of influence that can be used for the good of others. However, wanting recognition or power to satisfy ego needs is ugly, prideful, a place where much evil flourishes.
The better way is to build the character and cultivate the qualities that prepare us for God’s promotion!
Joseph, the teenager sold into slavery by jealous brothers, ended up in Egypt on the lowest rung of society’s ladder. He did not nurse his wounds, feed resentment, and demand that someone rescue him. He prayed, trusted God, and did the right things. Life took him from slavery to prison, from bad to worse – so it seemed. But, his intimate connection to the living God did not go unnoticed.
When the king had a dream which nobody could understand, one of his servants remembered that guy he met in jail who had spiritual insight. “Then the king’s cup-bearer spoke up. “Today I have been reminded of my failure,” he said. “Some time ago, you were angry with the chief baker and me, and you imprisoned us in the palace of the captain of the guard. One night the chief baker and I each had a dream, and each dream had a meaning. We told the dreams to a young Hebrew man who was a servant of the captain of the guard. He told us what each of our dreams meant, and everything happened just as he said it would. ” (Genesis 41:9-13, NLT)
Joseph was called into court where he heard Pharaoh’s dream. God revealed the meaning and wise counsel to Joseph which he shared, confidently, with the king. “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. …”
And God promoted him! “The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” (Genesis 41:33-41, NIV)
Are you polishing up your resume, working to create that social media image, trying hard to become ‘’somebody?” God’s success is counter-cultural. The way to leadership is through service. Two of Jesus’ disciples came to Him seeking places of influence. Remember what He said? “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43-45, NIV) When Jesus humbled Himself, even to death, God raised Him up and now He is seated at the Father’s right hand.
Let God promote you. He needs faithful people, who are filled with the Spirit, to lead His people, to care for His church, to extend the reach of His reign. Desire the best spiritual gifts. Present yourself to Him, humbly. And, see where He leads, how He uses you. The center of His will is the place of our greatest effectiveness and deepest peace.
Here is a word from the Word. May the Lord use it to correct the cultural ideas about power and promotion, making us like Jesus. “So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7, The Message)
(As you listen, give your life to Him, the Builder)
Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You We live for You
Holy there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me
I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken
Brett Younker | Karl Martin | Kirby Elizabeth Kaple | Matt Redman | Pat Barrett © 2016 Martin, Karl Andrew (Admin. by Arkyard Music Services Limited) Kaple Music (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing) Bethel Music Publishing
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