We’re Getting a Promotion!
This post is more devotional in nature… something the Lord showed me that I wanted to share with you. It does still relate to the ministry of UKFJ, so I hope you’ll read it and be encouraged.
What does the word “promotion” mean to you? If you’ve held a job for any period of time or are on a specific career path, it probably means a whole lot! The first definition listed for the word “promotion” on dictionary.com is “advancement in rank or position.” Most of us are wired to strive for success and our culture reinforces that tendency. We long to be recognized for what we accomplish, to be rewarded for a job well done and to be given the chance to prove that we can do even more, and so the cycle continues. In short, we long for promotion.
Recently, another pastor was encouraging Trevor regarding our upcoming adventure and made the statement that God is “promoting” us to the next level in our ministry. So, as I had my personal quiet time with the Lord recently, I began to think more about what that really means.
If we look at promotion from a completely carnal perspective (putting all right and pure motives aside), it is typically all about us and it is all about obtaining more – more money, more responsibility, more power, more authority, more recognition, more stuff, more, more, more. However, if you look at it spiritually and consider the example of Christ and the principles in scripture, it’s quite the opposite. It’s about serving more and giving more. It’s less about us and more about Him; it’s about being last, not first; it’s about decreasing ourselves so that He can increase. (Matthew 20:25-28, Philippians 3:7-9, John 3:30)
If you compare the physical circumstances of where our family is going to where we are now and where you’d expect us to go next from here, the world would probably say it’s more of a step backwards than forwards. We are going to a smaller town to serve in a smaller church to do smaller tasks for smaller financial gain (well, for none really, since we are going as missionaries). But when I think about the Lord choosing us specifically for this mission and what we are to strive for based on God’s value system, I realize that we are, in fact, being promoted! These seemingly “smaller” things will actually require greater faith, greater love, greater sacrifice, greater obedience, and so on. And while our reward will not come in the way of paychecks, stock options or annual bonuses, we can be confident that the eternal reward – both for us and for those whose eternal destinies we are investing in – will be well worth it.
I firmly believe that we, as followers of Christ, should strive to do our very best in all things… we should work hard to achieve excellence in our work and to provide comfortable and stable homes for our families. Seeking promotion in the worldly sense can be both good and admirable. But I hope that we’ll also remember that there is a spiritual life running parallel to our physical one and its value system is much different.
When God gives you a task that stretches you and furthers His kingdom, think of it as Him building your spiritual resume. The assignment might sometimes seem small or unimpressive - or even just plain crazy - from a worldly viewpoint… like when He prompts you to love the unlovable, to reach out to the hurting, to forgive one who is undeserving, to give more than you think you are capable of giving, to do something you don’t feel qualified to do, to accept the outcast, to be a spiritual father or mother to a new believer, to feed and minister to the homeless in the inner city, to join a mission team for a week of selfless service, to invite your annoying neighbor to your church or life group, to share your faith with the stranger next to you on the plane, to really listen to the hurts and struggles of your coworker, to intercede for someone in desperate need, to volunteer your time to support your local church, to sell all that you have and become a missionary. Whatever it may be, especially if it takes you out of your comfort zone, realize that congratulations are in order – God is taking you to that next level… you are being promoted!
Blessings and more updates on the progress of UKFJ will be coming soon!