I think it's part of every human being's DNA to have a desire for more. We want to advance, to achieve, to make a name for ourselves. We all want our lives to count.
Social media has provided a platform for people to promote themselves, their beliefs, their likes and dislikes, their photos, and every detail of their lives to anyone who will listen. I mean, I am doing it right now!
Just like we choose who we want to be in real life, we also choose who we want to be online. Narcissism, arrogance and pride abound, but so does empathy, compassion and love. We get to choose our public persona.
After writing my book, "Made for This Moment", I got schooled in the art of self promotion. The publishing house would call and tell me all the things I was required to do to promote my book. Since then, I have read books on building your platform and read articles outlining the many avenues of building your brand.
I understood in my head, how important these things were, if I wanted to be seen and heard in the marketplace. But in my heart, I didn't like that it was necessary.
Our way of climbing to the top is often so different than God's way. James 4:10 tells us, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up." (NIV) Humbling ourselves seems to be counterintuitive to the desire in our hearts to be raised up! The world tells us to build a platform, get your face out there, make a name for yourself, and make some noise! But God tells us something different.
"This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength." Isaiah 30:15 (NIV)
How are we supposed to be exalted by being humble? How are we supposed to show strength by being quiet?!
We did an interesting exercise in our C5 Church staff meeting this week. Each of us wrote on a whiteboard the precise moment that God called us and propelled us forward into that calling. We recorded years and turning points. But an unexpected reality was revealed. Each landmark moment recorded was also a season of deep surrender within us.
Why is it, in God's economy, we must always go down to go up? He says plainly in Matthew 23:12, "For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." (NIV)
So I made a decision. I decided I would rather have God promote me than to even attempt at scratching and clawing my way to the top. (Usually when I do that, I discover the unfortunate reality that the top I am striving for is not what I expected and I realize that it's the top of something that has no eternal value whatsoever.) It becomes a waste of time, energy, and strength to do it on my own. Instead of trying to figure it all out and do life in a way that makes sense to me, l want to try to do life His way. I must choose humility. I have to get low.
When we humble ourselves, we become usable to God. When we humble ourselves, we get out of our own way. When we humble ourselves, it is a white-flag-surrender-kind-of-thing that signals to God that He can finally step in and do what we could never do on our own.
I am seeking after God. Everything else can wait. His promotion. His way. His time. His work in me is what I'm aiming for.
When God promotes you, no one can stand against you. When God promotes you it feels so much easier. When God promotes you, because it is in His time, and He has done the work of molding your will to His, you will be ready. When God promotes you it lasts.
Humility is the signal to heaven that you are ready.