Oswald Sanders, author of Spiritual Leadership (one of the most helpful books on leadership) suggested that “Any ambition which centers around and terminates upon oneself is unworthy, while an ambition which has the glory of God as its center is not only legitimate but positively praiseworthy.”
The motive behind any ambition is the factor that makes it worthy or unworthy.
Can you find the motive in these three verses?
“Don’t store up (for yourself) treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21
Jesus obviously understood motive when it came to treasures for oneself and suggested we take time to assure ours are correct. So how do you check personal motives? Let me suggest three words:
- Reflection ~ take time look and listen to your hearts desires and expectations. Whatever is in your heart, your mouth will speak and your spirit will crave.
- Self-examination ~ Pray King David’s prayer often; “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalms 139:23-24
3. Bold Faith ~ The opposite of faith is not fear but unbelief! When you motives are right faith will be easy. (Matt. 6:33)
Do you ever consider heavenly rewards? Eternity is forever so I suggest you should. How you live your life on earth as a believer in Christ will determine your future as a citizen of heaven and on the new earth which we will inhabit after the Great White Throne Judgment.
Jesus would not have told us ” to lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20) if it were not possible to do so.
When talking to the rich young ruler Jesus said, “if you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven ; and come follow me.” We know therefore that giving to the poor is one way we can store up treasure in heaven.
Some might wonder how we should divide our time between training for heaven and doing our job down here. There should be no conflict . The two go together. The best way we can prepare for eternity is to be faithful in our present assignments. In this, it is important we know God’s purpose for our life. We can be certain God has the wisdom to include in our training course just what is best for the assignment we will have in eternity.
At the end of our time here on earth we want to be able to say like Paul: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith :henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness , which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8. Paul suffered immensely in this life but could say, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
Paul had the eternal view. It is not in this life that we experience the fullness of God’s grace. “And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2: 6-7