It seems I find myself roving through familiar entanglements at different points in my life. The same old problematic issues that I faced in college seem to jump at me again where I am now. Perhaps I have not fully surrendered them to Christ.
Specifically, I am dealing with a mix of possible idolatries-namely, "Christian Rock Star Syndrome," impure motivations, and selfish ambitions. What takes these vices to another level is that they all pus under my calling to vocational ministry.
The specific nature of my calling has shifted around in my heart and mind at different points in my journey with the LORD. At this point, I cannot with sincere certainty make any statements as to a particular goal, not even as specific as planting a church, working in a closed country, or the like. The LORD has not given me any sort of vivid, "tv show in my mind" type of experience as of yet. This is likely a good thing however, as He has revealed to me that He wants me to be pruned and cleansed prior to stepping out into the exact place in His story of Redemption He wants me to be in.
In reality, I have to remember God has me where He wants me. While there are times I wish my life was different, that I were already serving in a full-time capacity in a local church primarily preaching and teaching, I do not know how effective I could expect to be. Honestly, I sometimes I could not properly say that is even my calling. Some of the other ideas that have been floating around in my head as of late are to one day serve as a professor in an evangelical seminary or as military chaplain. Yet whatever I do, I do not want to be mediocre; I want to be great. Yet too often, I want to be great the way I define "great" more than how God views it.
How often have I looked at those in ministry who have had visible success. It seems in general they have always been traveling and preaching, even from an early age. They seem to just have all the right moves...from my vantage point at least. Often I think to myself that I would like to be in their place. While God has redeemed me, along with my perspective, I continue to be drawn to what is appealing to my desires. Yet I must ask, "What are those desires?"
When I take time to really peel away and sift through the layers of my subconscious will, I find passions and ambitions to be respected, recognized, and esteemed. From an early age, I have wanted to be looked up to. Not merely have I wanted to be respected; I have wanted that sense of being honored to be apparent to myself and all around me. Yet what have I really been? I have been an idolator in the name of Jesus. But no more shall this be.
God truly is the centerpiece Who is to be honored, uplifted, adored, praised, glorified, magnified, worshiped, and loved by all-whether by His grace they come to do so during life on earth, or if by the sheer force of His greatness and majesty when He returns again. To worship or hold someone else with highest esteem is absolute idolatry.
God is the only being in the universe Who can magnify HImself while it can concurrently be truthfully said that He is in no way being selfish. In the same sense, He is the only One Who can cause others to do the same; He is still rightly not referred to as being greedy. Since He is the most desirable, most wonderful, most beautiful, and the being most worthy of worship Who exists, He must, to be consistent with His own nature, be most focused on Himself. Since He is also the most satisfying, most gratifying, and most loving being in the universe, it is in the best interests of others to be drawn to Him. It is in my best interest to further His mission; I can show no greater love for others than to attempt to make them disciples of Jesus Christ.
So from now on, I seek to be like the man who had eleven talents...but no longer so I can say I had the most talents and be satisfied mainly in the talents themselves. I wish to be the most obedient in using what the Lord has given me so that I may enter into His happiness which is non-existent apart from Him. Amen.
Greatness-I want to be the guy who ended up with eleven talents.
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