[am-bish–un]: an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.
2011 still has a couple days to show its glory. And as people bring down Christmas trees and wreaths, many also write up resolutions, “vision boards,” and expectations. Everyone has goals that they want to achieve, and whether expressly written or not, at least one goal revolves around the attainment of some form of prosperity, success, or recognition for hard work. And as Christians, we are empowered with verses like “write the vision make it plain,” or “seek and you shall find,” or “He knows the desires of our hearts,” and we get to writing and then pray over those things (we just wrote) which we believe would change our circumstances.
Like many, I am a pretty diligent person: if there is a goal, I really do work hard to attain it and complete the task. But if I don’t meet the task, I don’t automatically run off the cliff either. The way I see it, if I created the goals but don’t fulfill them, no one will really know, and so is life! We just keep it moving. But for the most part, I do like to cross off my giant “To Do” life list. I used to cringe, however, when I would be lumped into the “ambitious” crowd. Ambition has always been a little too strong of a desire for me. In my mind, ambitious folks do whatever it takes to reach their destination (without any regard to how it may affect others). They are the type that ask for “advice,” but really want to sit and talk about themselves (and never get to the QUESTION!!! UGH). And while they may be engaged in activities for the greater good, the recognition sought is not people-focused but self-centered. I am nothing like those fame-seeking, title-reaching, front of magazine-wishing ambitious wanna-bees…right? Yet as I thought about it a little more, I realized that while my goals may not be to get an award of any kind, is it any better that I can easily walk away from those things I said I was going to try to accomplish upon sunrise of the New Year?
This year, instead of making my goals first and then putting a little spiritual dust on top, I am going to have my mind-centered on Christ first, and just be ambitious about that. Taking the definition of “ambition,” I will be reaching for the following, knowing that God is at the core.
ambition…on the ROCK: 2012 Edition
Achievement: Ephesians 1:11-12 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
Distinction:Romans 3:22-24 22 This righteousness is given through faith inJesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Power: Isaiah 26:4 4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.
Honor: John 15:13 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Fame: Matthew 6:1-4 1Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Wealth: Deuteronomy 8:18 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Willingness to strive to attain: Philippians 3:14 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
What is so great about “Ambition on the Rock” is that Jesus NEVER fails. If I focus on being so sold-out for Him, and submit myself and simply say “Not my will, but Your will, Lord–let it be,” I have set myself to fulfill His vision for me. No vision board or resolution created by an imperfect vessel can equate to that.
What is also different is that if I do quit, I am not only quitting on myself, but on those things God purposed for me in 2012. And God’s plans for us do not only affect us…they are intended to help people. Who is not going to be healed, saved, set free, renewed, if you DON’T center on the ROCK?
So I’m trying a new drink: Ambition on the Rock. Shaken (sometimes), but never stirred (or deterred).
Thank you all you BOLD & FABULOUS readers for supporting us throughout this year! I pray for all your plans and visions for the future.