When I was growing up I had to deal with, among other things, some rejection issues and this resulted in my becoming incredibly ambitious and driven. I left school at 16 and joined the high street retailer WH Smith. My plan was to become chairman as soon as possible!! After two promotions at work God called me to ministry and during those early years of ministry God dealt with my heart and also taught me a really important principle that would help me and give me an amazing sense of peace and security….
I was reading my quiet time notes one day (UCB notes) and the text said this ‘It is God who judges. He brings one down, He exalts another.’ (Psalm 75:7). The heading was simply this: ‘Let God Promote You.’ It continued to say this: ‘If you don’t find your significance and your self-worth in God, you’ll spend your life trying to promote yourself.’ Wow! As I read these words I realised that was exactly what I had been doing as a young pastor! Worse still when others were recognised, promoted ahead of me, or given larger churches I became frustrated and, if I’m honest resentful. Not good!
I had to come to the realisation, as the verse suggests, that in God’s Kingdom, you don’t achieve spiritual success – you receive it from God (and He’s normally pretty astute at giving it when you are good & ready!)
We can learn from David. While his brothers were striving to be king and ‘get the nod’ from Samuel, he remained faithfully doing what God had called him to do then – namely to tend the sheep. We must learn to let others compete (they will), compare and criticise….our job is simply this: to be faithful to what God has called us to do now and then when He thinks we’re ready, you can be sure He’ll come and get you!
The day I read that I was feeling really frustrated. I absolutely knew that God had a calling upon my life to lead the camp that I loved in Benllech but it wasn’t happening. That day I surrendered that dream to God and made a commitment that whilst I would give my all for the Kingdom…I would let God decide the path I would take and the heights (if any) I would go to. The postscript is this: several years later, when God felt I was ready, I became leader of the camp and actually went on to lead another great camp. I also have the joy of being trusted by God to pastor a great church in a great city! God is so good!
I would encourage each one of you today, whatever context you find yourself, whether in ministry or in secular work – make a decision today…to work hard, to do your best but not to strive. Let God promote you!
Thanks Coll. Glad you enjoyed the post. Blessings!
Hit the nail on the head. Being “real” brings freedom (to us) and honor (to God)..am traversing past the trenches of striving, embracing His promotion instead. I can truly relate and am thanking God for the encouragement through your words.
Hi Kristi. Thank you for your kind comments and feedback. God had quite a battle with me but He was patient and got there in the end and as a result I’ve been so blessed! Just been reading your blog. Love it! I can’t see you on Twitter as would love to connect. Maybe you should consider it as its a good place to get your blog out there. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family!
I loved this article. So timely. I’m a teacher and usually at the end of every year, I’m usually looking at job postings thinking, “isn’t there something more”? More of what I’m not sure. Every job has its challenges. I try to live my life where he’s at the helm, but sometimes don’t hear definitively. That is when I just wait on him and see where he wants me. While the world sees this action as indecisive, or a wait on the Lord as not goal-oriented towards furthering your career (wherever), it actually is quiet rest. We should strive, to enter it 🙂
Kathleen thank you so much for your encouraging comments. I’m so grateful to God for teaching me this several years ago and even though it’s something I’ve taken on board I still have to remind myself at times to stay in that place of rest. The world is constantly on our case to be someone and have position so it’s little surprise that we get sucked in. My constant prayer is this ‘God – you open the right doors for me and in the meantime help me to be content with who I am and what I have.’ Thanks again Kathleen – may God bless you greatly as you serve Him as a teacher and may He also open some exciting and unexpected doors for you in the future!
I have been trying to tell an evangelist at a church I attend this, He chooses to try to promote and decide who to reach out to and who not to, in order to grow the church. My idea is to just step out in faith and let God do the rest. God will send his sheep to the flock and bless the church as a whole. We are not here to pick and choose who to minister to, but we are here to reach out to those that are sent by God trough the holy spirit. God will give the words and wisdom to reach the souls he sends.
It’s always better to allow God to do what He does best Susan. Not always easy as we all want to see quicker results. Praying for God to move in your church and your city. Blessings!