"With the right combination of charisma, passion, persistence, and persuasiveness anyone can exalt themselves, in the eyes of others; but the all-seeing God is not fooled. Many ministers think they are God’s gift to the world; just ask them and they’ll tell you..."
“For whosoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.” – Luke 14:11
To be advanced in any position in this world we must be elevated or exalted by someone else to move us up in the ranks. To be elevated from a first-rank private in the military to the status of a general requires that someone else promotes and instates the man or woman into the new, higher position. To be promoted as an employee to the position of manager requires that another, with the authority to do so, will make the decision to elevate the person to manager. The same principle applies in the kingdom of God. However, as is always the case, the way of being elevated in God’s kingdom is very different from the way a man is elevated in the rest of this world. In this world the goal is to be elevated by man, but in God’s kingdom He is the only one who can do so. In this world, to be exalted, we are told that you have to build yourself up; to be stronger, smarter, and quicker than the next man. That in order to succeed you will have to push a few folks down. That to get to the top of the ladder you will have to climb over people which means stepping on them in the process. To succeed you will have to break the rules from time to time and do what is in the best interest of your own self-preservation. God’s kingdom does not work this way – ever; and thank God that it doesn’t.
Unfortunately, too many in the church are still trying to climb to the top of God’s kingdom by pushing others down and exalting themselves in the eyes of those they hope to impress. With the right combination of charisma, passion, persistence, and persuasiveness anyone can exalt themselves, in the eyes of others; but the all-seeing God is not fooled. Many ministers think they are God’s gift to the world; just ask them and they’ll tell you so! But I contend that if a man has to tell you how great his ministry is then it is probably not. If a preacher has to tell you how great of a preacher he is then he’s probably not worth much at all.
A life-giving ministry will be a testimony to itself. A life-giving ministry won’t need to announce with trumpets to the world just how great it is. The life it produces testifies on its behalf. Rest assured, when a person, church, or ministry is constantly talking about how great they are – they aren’t. There is a reason these men exalt themselves – God is not. Beware of these ministries. Beware of these churches. Beware of this man. Beware that this man is not you. Two things are crucial here: first – it is to God alone that we answer and therefore we must be esteemed in His eyes (nothing else matters). Secondly – because God is the only one who can exalt then we must learn how to be exalted by God. It’s not a secret. “He that humbles himself will be exalted.” You want to be successful in God’s kingdom? You want God to place His blessing on your life and ministry? You want to hear “Well done good and faithful servant” at the end of your life? Humble yourself and be a servant to your neighbor. Love people selflessly. Forget about trying to be “great” and “esteemed” in the eyes of people. Stop living to exalt yourself and instead live to exalt the glorious name of Jesus Christ alone. Stop living to advance your agenda and start living to advance the Kingdom of God.
The irony here is the same as Abraham found when he raised the knife to slay Isaac. God wasn’t out to kill Isaac, only to bring Abraham to the place of complete humble dependence and faith in God. In the same way, our Father is not out to make His sons and daughters feel small and worthless. No good father would ever do that. A good father desires to elevate his children. And therein is the secret to being elevated in our Father’s kingdom – either He will do it, or you will try yourself and fail. There is nothing wrong with being exalted so long as God is the one who does it. God never does anything wrong. But the difference between men whom God exalts and men who exalt themselves is the difference between Jesus and Satan. May that sink deep into our souls.