Do you remember Jesus’ sermon about ambition? If not, then here’s a quick refresher. Two of Jesus’ disciples, James and John, were not satisfied with their current “job,” so they asked for a promotion, “When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left” (Mark 10:37, New Living Translation). Jesus asked them if they met the qualifications of the position, and with confidence, they replied, “Yes!” In response to their ambition, Jesus revealed the secret to advancement, “… Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else” (Mark 10:43-44, New Living Translation).
In a world where arrogance and self-promotion seem to be the norm, it’s refreshing to find people who choose the low road to success. As I read the opening verses of Joshua 1, I marveled at two words – Moses’ assistant. Joshua, the proposed author of these verses, had grounds to exalt himself – he had faith when others didn’t, he was the new leader of the Israelites, and God spoke directly to him. Yet, instead of promoting himself, Joshua embraced this identity – Moses’ assistant. Joshua took the low road, and it led to advancement.
You may be seeking advancement on your job, but don’t follow the norm of rubbing shoulders with “who’s who.” If you want lasting success, then learn to serve. And, if you serve, God will promote you!
But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Matthew 23:12, New Living Translation).