Selfless Pursuit of the Will of God
Imagine yourself standing at the end of a large rope with in a group of several other men and women. At the opposite end of the rope stands another group of people who are prepared to pull against you when the buzzer sounds. Your goal is to pull so hard that you drag the rope and the other team until you are able to reach out and grab the prize that has been set at the edge of the arena.
Suddenly the starting bell rings and you are off. At first you pull half-heartedly, but quickly you realize that this is no small task. That other team is determined to drag you over to their side and claim the prize for themselves. You won’t have any of it. You pull harder. You push your feet into the ground. You grip the rope so tightly that your knuckles turn white. Your brow becomes covered in sweat and your shirt becomes all messed up. You can tuck it back in in a few minutes. Right now you are busy. You are determined to claim that prize for your team.
You begin to make a little headway. You and your team drag them about a foot in your direction…then two feet…then five. Finally, your teammate at the end of the rope reaches out and grasps the prize. You have pulled far enough to claim the reward. You release the rope and together with the others you begin to cheer and applaud one another. You did it.
Isn’t it funny that in a game as silly as tug-of-war you are willing to commit every last ounce of strength so that one of your teammates is able to claim the prize. All sense of selfishness disappears and the only thing that matters is that the team wins regardless of who gets to grasp the prize at the end.
What an amazing Biblical truth that each of us could bear to learn: To put aside all self pride and endeavor with all of our strength to reach for the prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus!
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
~ Philippians 3:14
So often I fear Christians are pushing forward in the work of Christ solely for the purpose of looking nice in the eyes of those around them. While I am glad that they are at least doing the work of God, it is sad that they are doing it for sinful reasons. It is sinful to motivate ourselves in the work of God through the wickedness of pride.
Yet how often do we see this happening? Preachers are more concerned with announcing greater numbers than in seeing individual lives being transformed into the image of Christ. Bus workers are often more concerned about winning the spring campaign than they are concerned with the eternal souls of those on their buses. Soul-winners are short changing the gospel and leading men and woman through false professions so that they can simply get another ‘notch on their belt.’
We need a revitalized sense of serving Christ that is motivated by a love for God and souls. We need to get over the pride that drives us to seek our own glory. We need to throw our self-image out the window and give every ounce of our strength to seeing the Will of God accomplished in our lives and in our churches. Let’s press toward that prize!
Nicholas Z. Cardot
Labels: Spiritual Challenge