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The Daily Word of Righteousness
A Giant Step Forward, #12
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin." (John 8:34)
You and I have been slaves of Satan, and Satan is not pleased when one of his slaves is attempting to get rid of his chains. We have to fight our way into the land of promise; and God will help us if we keep looking to Him.
We overcome the first branch of sin by learning to look to the Lord instead of to our natural abilities.
We overcome the second branch of sin by confessing, denouncing, and renouncing sin as the Spirit makes us aware of our behavior.
Doing great things. The third branch of sin, that of jumping off the roof of the Temple, has to do with our desire to do some great thing, either in the world or in the religious realm.
In the United States of America, ambition is regarded as a value. This is not the case in the Kingdom of God. Our whole duty is to fear God and keep His commandments.
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
The Lord Jesus Christ revealed no personal ambition in His character. The Lord Jesus feared God and kept His commandments. This is our whole duty. It is quite difficult for American Christians to grasp that personal ambition is sin.
There is nothing wrong with having a goal in life and setting out to achieve it. But we must be careful in prayer that the Lord is pleased with our goal and it is something He desires. If it is not something the Lord desires for us, and just our personal desire for success, it is a sin. It is loss for Christ, for other people, and for ourselves.
I am not claiming we should be lazy. We know from the parable of the talents that the Lord is not pleased with laziness. I am speaking rather of our desire to impress people with our accomplishments.
We have a real problem in America with the value we put on achievement. There are people who are driven their whole life by a desire to meet the expectations of their parents—sometimes long after their parents are dead.
This mad rush toward accomplishment seems to be more apparent in the "sophisticated" nations as compared with the villages of less "educated" cultures. We feel that "progress" is the important thing. And certainly advancements have been made in the field of medicine, for example, that are of benefit to people.
But all such progress, whether in medicine, agriculture, labor-saving devices, or communication can be accomplished by people who are without personal ambition but are directed by the Lord to meet the needs of mankind. The Lord Jesus Christ cares about the welfare of people, and all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him.
If we consider the world of today we see that the personal ambition of the politicians, the wealthy, and other leaders causes untold agony on the part of those who get in their way. Throughout history mankind has suffered to an extent only God knows because of the personal ambition of rulers and religious prelates.
To be continued.