Have you ever dreamed of doing something truly great and significant with your life? Maybe at one point you had dreams but then you gave them up because somewhere you learned that as a Christian you weren’t supposed to want to be “great.”
Many of us tend to think of ambition as a negative thing. We might imagine that truly ambitious people only want to be “big shots” or “big somebodies.” But I’d like to challenge that thinking. What if inside of us all is the desire to do something significant with our lives? What if God created us this way?
The truth is God wants to use you and me in ways beyond our wildest dreams. He’s the ultimate investor and He’s looking for those He can get behind and support so that He can fulfill the destiny He has for us, but in alignment with His purpose. God wants us to be great in fulfilling His purposes.
In the Gospel of Luke, we find an example of how God honors our ambition, drive and dreams. In this passage, Jesus’ disciples are arguing about who is the greatest. Luke writes, “A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.’” (22:24-25)
Notice that Jesus didn’t get angry with His disciples for wanting to be great, nor did He tell them that their ambition was wrong. Instead He changes their paradigm and says, “If you want to be great… there’s a different way to get there.”
Like the disciples, we should have ambition, but a holy ambition – an ambition to do something great for God. With holy ambition, we can turn our God-shaped dreams into reality. And the way we do it is through being a humble servants and understanding God’s purpose for our lives.
Now some of you might be thinking… “Why would God want to use me? I’m not anyone special.” That’s because we tend to think of the people that God uses in the Bible as great heroes of the faith. The fact is God uses ordinary people like you and me to accomplish extraordinary things for His glory. We don’t have to have the money, brains, or education for God to use us either.
But there is one thing we do need to have: A heart that is completely His.
2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” This Old Testament verse is not only a promise for one king in Israel but it’s also a timeless axiom of how God relates to every man and every woman in every age.
The Lord is looking for followers – right now — who give Him their whole hearts and trust Him with their whole lives. They are people who have holy ambition because they want to do something great and significant with their lives, and they also know it will take God’s power and God’s dream in order to accomplish it.
Do you have a dream that you want God to support? First ask yourself, “Is my heart fully His?” If it is, He promises to support you. If you’re not there yet, God invites you to take the steps to prepare for and engage in His service.
This week, we’re starting the series Holy Ambition. In it, we will explore the steps that are needed in order to develop holy ambition: developing a dislocated heart; experiencing a broken spirit, and practicing a radical faith, just to name a few. It is my prayer, that we’ll become the men and women whose hearts beat with desire to live great lives for God. It is also my hope that we will become the catalysts for change that draw others into lives of holy ambition for God.
Keep Pressin’ Ahead,
Chip Ingram, Teaching Pastor
Living on the Edge
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip