Doesn’t This Seem Backwards to You?

Have you ever noticed that some of the things the Lord teaches us seem like a paradox? It’s just the opposite of what we’d think, or backwards from what the world would tell us to do? One of those seemingly surprising answers from the Lord comes in response to a question we each may have asked at some point: “How do I become great in Your Kingdom, Lord? How can I become great in and through You, so that my impact for You can be great?” He responds with verses such as Matthew 20:26-27: “…whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave” (NKJV).
Notice in His response, the Lord doesn’t rebuke the desire to become great…but does clarify that greatness, in His definition, is to be the servant of all. Jesus is the ultimate example of serving all…He gave His life to rescue and redeem us! So how is all of this possible…how does greatness line up with being a servant?
First, we need to see that being others-focused and being in pride (selfishness / self-centeredness) are opposing forces. You can’t get caught up in pride and selfishness when you seek every day with a genuine heart to be a blessing to those around you. To help others. Cheer others up. Follow the Holy Spirit’s prompting to say that kind word to them or give them that anonymous gift. It’s important to live in such a way that your heart is always others-focused, so that pride has no room to creep in. After all, greatness — in the Lord’s definition — comes from serving others, not from lifting yourself up in pride.
>>The other HUGELY important component in all of this is TRUST.
You may have the desire to be great…to be more, do more and help more in supporting the cause for Christ! But where are you going to place your trust? Will you put your trust in yourself — your skills, your ability to “make it happen,” your charm and wit, your connections, and so on. OR…will you put your trust in the Lord? Will you share your heart’s desires with the Lord and trust in Him to make all of the right paths smooth for you? Will you rest in His divine workings and not take over with your own striving? The very best path to greatness in His Kingdom is letting Him lead the way.
And friends, I’d love to let you in on a little secret I’ve discovered over the years…the plan of God almost never happens in the way or in the time frame you think it will. But, when the Lord does bring His plan to pass, it’s always the very BEST way and the very BEST timing! That’s not so surprising…He loves you so very much and wants the very BEST for YOU!
I encourage you today to take inventory of where you’re at. Do you desire to be greater in His Kingdom? To have more influence and leadership, so that you can help more and more people experience the love of Christ? Then take an honest look at who is “number uno” in your heart…is it others, or is it you? Today, if you want to be great in God’s kingdom choose to be the servant of all, trust the Lord, follow His lead and wait on His timing to exalt you in His plans. He’s got greatness in store for you!
Pray This and Say This Out Loud: “Father, I want to help more people experience Your love and all of the blessings You have in store for them. Help me to become great in Your Kingdom. Lord, I lay down my pride and ask You to fill my heart with love for others, so that being others-focused becomes a way of life for me! I lay down my pride, my selfishness and my self-centeredness and place You Lord at the center of my faith and my focus. And, I choose to place my trust in You — I want Your way, Your path, and Your timing, not my own Lord. Thank You that You’ll bring to pass all of the desires in my heart that align with Your will, and I thank You for that! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
Friends, Partners we are in season of giving. Our Church Mission is to: GO, GROW and GIVE. Let’s be encouraged and empowered to GIVE of our willing, joyful and compassionate SERVICE to the Lord and to others in the Church, to the Community and to those in our sphere of influence. I encourage you to GIVE your TIME, your TALENT and your TREASURE and be and become great in the Kingdom of God! Serve Up (to those over you – Parents, Pastors, Bosses, Coaches, Teachers, etc), Serve Around (to those around you – Spouse, Peers, Partners, Friends, Family Members (siblings/cousins), etc.) and Serve Down (to those you are responsible to – Children, Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, Students, People under your Supervision, etc.). Get your SERVE on friends and partners! Stay blessed and encouraged.