Monday, February 01, 2010

What is Your Ambition?

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 
Psalm 84:1-2 "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God."
What is Your Ambition?
Have you ever wished on some days that you could be a little bird with no responsibility and the ability to flutter away? It may sound strange, but that is a common wish! Psalm 84 is not a psalm about shirking responsibility; it is a psalm about having a passion for God. The psalmist was passionately invested in serving God; and because of that desire, he envied some small bird that has the chance to make a nest in God's house (verse 3).
When you have envied a little bird, was it for its greatness? No, you probably envied its anonymity! On the other hand, have you ever envied somebody with a certain position in God's service? Was it because of their anonymity? The psalmist envied a little bird because of his closeness to God; yet we envy people because they are closer to a position or praise or career move that we would like!
Nothing is more wicked than ambition that is not directed by God. Laziness and passivity are not admirable; but wanting a bigger church or a better position so we can be puffed up is nothing short of wicked! Do you remember Korah from the Bible? He was ambitious for a good thing. It appeared he wanted to do more in the service for God (burn incense), but what he really wanted was a position that God had given Moses and Aaron. Korah's desire wasn't to be closer to God; he was interested in building a résumé and building up himself. That ambition ended when God judged Korah in a spectacular way.
I doubt anyone envies a little bird for its greatness, but we often envy "great" people because we think that using God's work to build ourselves will bring happiness, success, and fulfillment. So the question this morning is this: are you building a nest, or are you building a platform? Are you building a nest, or are you building a career and yourself? The psalmist envied birds because they had the chance to do what he wanted to do-build a little nest in the house of God and stay right there!
If the picture of birds doesn't convince you, the psalmist gives the same truth with a human picture in verse 10. "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." Give me one day close to God over a thousand days doing anything else!
Korah died for ungodly ambition, but according to the superscription above verse 1, his children apparently learned the lesson. What is important in serving God is God, not me. What do you hope to get by serving God? Serving God ought not to be about building a career, position, or myself; serving God ought to be about building a "nest" close to Him. May that truth be the motivation behind any ambition we have today.
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Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

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