“… Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26)
Most men that we think of as great aren’t. Mostly they’re just high achievers. We do not find God’s Word commanding anyone to be a high achiever. His Book never instructs men to build great fortunes, erect great structures, or even to demonstrate perceived great power over others.
But what the Bible does record as our ultimate goal and purpose in life is this, “… to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38) And it is the entrance of this level of love and commitment to putting God first, that when allowed to take root it will guide our hearts in God’s ways. Character will be developed and our faith stimulated to even greater growth.
The “fruits of the Spirit” will begin to form and blossom forth … Bible study will become a regular behavior and habit that will build up and strengthen us … lead to a greater prayer life … and motivate to greater obedience to the Father!
There are so many examples recorded in both Testaments highlighting people of greatness in their own eyes, even in others’ eyes … but the ones that stand out, that glow with God’s approval, are those who humbly love and serve the Lord.
Watching from a distance, the ones who just don’t have the heart, the good soil required to win the race, wasting their time, talents, and life is such a sad thing to witness.
One such example can be found in Saul, son of Kish, a tall and handsome man from the tribe of Benjamin, who was selected by God to become the first king of Israel. Saul was raised up out of total obscurity, and even though God appointed Saul, he was really the people’s choice, given by the Lord in answer to their request. (1 Samuel 8:4-6, 19-20)
There is no doubt that Saul was being given a unique opportunity to become a mighty man of God and a wonderful blessing to his people. The fact is … Saul could have been great! The Lord blessed him, and he could have done so much for the Lord and his people. But when it was needed the most to be “strong and courageous” … when he needed to look to God … he just couldn’t take his eyes off of himself.
Call it pride, self-will, selfishness, King Saul had failed to place and keep God first in his life and he failed the test. He died a depressed, discouraged, and self-serving king of his own life rather than the king selected by God to lead God’s people!
Those who fiercely love God with all of their hearts become a contagious, infectious influence and each of us will be doing ourselves a great favor to seek to find such. They won’t be hard to find … they speak Bible. Watch them … talk with them … get to know them better, much better … and then “go and do likewise.”
It is our choice to accept God’s blessing, privilege, and the opportunity to “… become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom, you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life …” (Philippians 2:15-16)
We need to start thinking like Jesus thinks, to love what He loves, and hate what He hates. More important than wealth, power, prestige … even than being a king … become a better servant of Almighty God!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.