I wanted to share a story and a quote from the book I’m reading.
First, a story: Dave Harvey, the writer of Rescuing Ambition, records a story of a worship leader at a local church. The worship leader had been serving for this church for ten years. For ten years of Sunday’s he had woken up early and set up with his band and stood in front of the people and exhorted them to lift praises to God.
Part of his job was to train other worship leaders. One Sunday he let one of his trainees take the lead on Sunday. He stood in the wings as the new guy led the people to worship the Lord.
Standing there, watching the people with their eyes closed and heads tilted back, the leader felt a chill run down his spine and he knew without a shadow of a doubt that this new guy was better than him. He watched the new guy and knew that he was born to lead worship and ready to lead worship.
He felt the thrill of joy that comes from standing in the presence of someone being used by God, but then he felt the cold rush of reality.
It wasn’t a large church. There was only room for one steady worship leader. The worship leader loved his job. He loved prayerfully and tirelessly spending his life on leading the body in worship.
He watched the new guy lead and he felt the certainty that this guy was supposed to lead this church. He wanted the people he loved to be led by the one that God had clearly gifted to lead in that area.
So, he scheduled a meeting with his boss. He sat across a coffee table from the lead pastor and recommended that the new guy replace him as soon as possible.
As Harvey says: “His ambition for Christ was higher than his ambition for any particular role.”
That leads us to our quote:
Our willingness to make others a success is a great measure of the purity of our ambitions.
Those words have been swilling around in my head for a couple of weeks now. I struggle with having pure ambitions. My dreams are threaded with God and His glory, but that doesn’t mean they are pure. The Bible is filled with people who used God to pursue selfish ambition.
I love that quote.
It reminds me of Paul, sitting in prison writing a letter to the Philippians. He’s hearing every day about guys who are out there preaching Christ because they want to step up and fill the gap Paul has left. They are literally sharing the Gospel to make Paul feel bad that he is in prison. Paul’s response: joy. Christ is being proclaimed and that’s what matters to Paul. He’s been sidelined but that doesn’t effect his joy. Jesus is still being lifted high.
I’ll end with a prayer:
Lord, make me a woman whose joy is found in your exaltation alone. Make me someone who is more concerned with your glory than my own. I want your name lifted high. I want to want your name lifted high above all. I pray that you would flatten my name (scary) if that’s what it takes to have your name lifted high.
Trample me beneath your glory. Use me. Spend me. For your Name.