How Humility Handles Ambition
It is not wrong to have ambitions in life. Noah had an ambition to build an ark, even if it took him a hundred years to build. David was able to defeat Goliath because of his great ambition. Abraham had an ambition to heed God‘s calling for him to go to a distant land where God was sending him, and because of that he was blessed, and became the father of our faith. Jesus set his foot on Jerusalem because that’s where God was sending him He made it His holy ambition to complete the Father‘s plan.
A God-given ambition is one that grows out of the facts that we are created by God, we are given responsibility over this world, and we are made to reflect God’s image in this world.
Genesis 1:28 states God as saying, “Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” This is a very big and ambitious job!
If you have a plan or idea that grows out of the humble recognition that you are God’s creation who has been given the responsibility for this world, and desire to reflect His image, go for it! You have found the fertile ground where God-given ambitions grow.
It’s not wrong to have ambitions. However, it is wrong to have selfish ambitions, which is very distinct from the ambition which I speak about. Our problem is not our ambitiousness, but it is the fact that most of us allow pride to drive our ambition rather than let humility manage our ambitions.
Going back to the topic of being great in His kingdom, Matthew 18:4 states “Whoever humbles himself like a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” This was stated by Jesus Himself. He was challenging us to learn greatness from a child. He wants us to be dependent on God.
While being demanding creates quick results to some degree such as getting served in a restaurant or a store, it doesn’t produce any good results in important things that matter to us, such as in a relationship. It in fact destroys relationships. One can demand things of this world, but one cannot demand happiness, inner peace, love, real respect, good health, and eternal life, which matter really most. Demanding will cost you everything you worked so hard for, and everything you dreamed of having.
Matthew 7:7 says “Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.” God wants us to depend on Him for all our needs. Choosing a humble attitude of dependence cannot happen “Unless you change and become like little children.” (Matthew 18:3)
Demanding is so different from depending for when we demand, we imperatively seek that things be done according to our will and not God’s, while depending on God requires us to allow Him to help us on His own terms, and His own time, and not ours. We do this without questioning His will and trust that He will answer to our needs and requests.
We shouldn’t demand from people nor from God, but instead depend on God.