Regardless of whichever walk of life we’re on at the moment, we all want to be good at what we’re doing. In fact I dare say it, I think most of us want to be great at what we’re doing in our chosen field (be it in the professional field, homemaker or in the arts). We all want our contribution in life to matter and have value both to ourselves and others.
It is not uncommon whilst we’re on our ambtious quest for greatness that we romanticize and fantasize what the end picture will look like when we finally ‘make it’. Personally I see nothing wrong with holding and nurturing a vision, for even God said that ‘without a vision the people perish’. So it is clearly important in life to have a vision of where we want to be and a plan of how to get there.
However I think it is absolutely critical to ensure that the vision that we have for our lives is from the Lord. For except the Lord build the house (life) they that labour do so in vain. Psalm 127:1
How do we know if our plans and vision are acceptable to God? We will know by a few things:
– we have the peace of God about it
– we are using our gifts and talents in service to others
– our vision correctly aligns with the Word of God – even in the broadest of terms, our lifestyle honours God and His Word and is a witness that He is God and good.
– Our path is a natural progression and does not require us to compromise our relationship with God or His Word.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are many more pointers that serve to show us whether we are on the right path or not. The more we read the Bible the more we become acquainted with God’s principles for living a life that honours Him, as there is a plethora of situations that illustrate these principles in the Bible.
THE JOURNEY TO GREATNESS
Unsurprisingly along our journey to greatness we can become discouraged about the length of time It is taking to ‘get there’, as we are only human and sometimes our humanity can causes us to want things in our own way, in our own time according to our own plan! We can even become frustrated at certain roadblocks that stand in our way that prevent us from excelling higher and faster. Quite sincerely (and absolutely empathically) I understand exactly how those low moments feel because I too have felt them. Many times over.
However I truly believe that God has deliberately designed our life paths with certain trials and hardships as part of the journey, each of them designed to teach and equip us with all we need to function effectively, positively and fruitfully in the positions of greatness for which He has uniquely created us. Yes God loves us and in fact we are called His ‘masterpiece’. That means God has taken great thought and care to plan our lives with purpose, and knowing us from before we arrived on this earth (our personality, our decisions, our stubbornness, our decisions of obedience and disobedience).
I believe that God created our paths with certain trials and hardships that would bring us to a certain level of breaking point so that we change in a way that no other situation could make us change to align with the path that He created, and cause us to seek a relationship with Him in a way that no other situation could. The storms, mountains, valleys and trials all serve good purposes even though they don’t feel like it at the time. They are all positioned at exactly the right place and time to mould us into the person we need to become in order for God to be able to use us for His glory.
BEING FAITHFUL WITH LITTLE IN SMALL BEGINNINGS
I have heard it once said that the only people that start at the top of their work are ‘grave diggers’. That means by and large we all have to begin at a humble start. Learning the basics and mastering each step along the way. The more we do this, particularly with a good attitude and disposition, the more likely we are to walk with favour from God and man.
As we work with excellence and a good attitude as unto the Lord, God will put it into the hearts of those in positions of influence to promote us – promotion the right way comes from God.
God is not in a hurry to promote us. He knows exactly what we need and when – He is a Waymaker so He has already provided and prepared the way. We do not need to fear nor be stressed. The right way up is to learn how to serve, and properly. If we want to be great at being used by God then we cannot be masters for the sake of it. If we are going to be masters of our craft/vocation/profession then we have to do it with the right objective – to be of service to people and in doing so honour and be a witness that God is God and He exists. It is not about flying up the ranks at record speed and arrive with a proud ‘look at me’ smirk on our faces. There are also illegitimate ways of flying up the ranks but they do not honour God and in fact when you get to the top you haven’t learned anything about integrity, mastered the process and art of the work and therefore the fall is likely to be mighty. God has set good reason within process and we must be patient with it. When we can be faithful to be excellent in the humble little early on positions that we have to occupy and do so with a good attitude, at the right time, the Lord will turn the heart of those in strategic places to favour us and open doors that no man can shut.
CHECKING OUR MOTIVES FOR PROMOTION
So keep on keeping on. Your labour is not in vain if you labour as unto the Lord. Do not grow weary or discouraged for in due season you will reap a harvest if you do not give up. As hard, tedious and long as the process may seem try not to take the reins and do things ‘your way’ and compromise the Word of God to get to where you want to be. Often times that type of behaviour is indicative of an impure intention so it’s good to check our hearts regularly. Is pride at the root of our desires for promotion? Is it primarily to have a title? Titles without godly character are great catalysts for a fall – think King Saul. He became King but leaned to his own understanding and counsel rather than heeding the advice of the Prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 13. Furthermore, if our rise is only to satisfy our own desires and purposes then we will be of absolutely no use to God, because being used by God often requires sacrifice. We have to put others’ needs before our own desires because that is what love does and God is love. It would be much better for God to delay our progress than to allow us a promotion that will lead to our eventual destruction.
SUBMITTING TO GOD
It is not God’s will that any man should perish, but when we are led away from His path by our own fleshly desires then that is the outcome. This it is why it is supremely important to submit to God and His Word in our daily lives. As we submit our minds, will and emotions in alignment and obedience to His Word then we are less at risk of selling our soul to the evil one who keenly awaits to offer counterfeit solutions and ungodly ways to satisfy our desires. Our heart’s desires must reflect the goodness and Word of God. Everything else is of evil and will lead to destruction. A quick scripture to check our motives is 1 John 2:16 – are we lusting with our eyes, do our desires originate from lust of the flesh or perhaps pride of life? If we don’t exercise self-control over these things and keep a check on our heart’s desires, they will eventually control our minds, will and emotions and cause us to submit our soul to the evil one.
Trust God’s timing, wisdom and Word as you walk out your path in obedience to the Bible. When you submit to His Word and keep Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, the right doors will open to you as you go in the flow of the Holy Spirit – without you having to stress, compromise your integrity and disobey God’s Word.
Keep being faithful, you have no idea what great destiny God has planned beyond what your eyes and mind can conceive!