Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 34 : Be a Servant | Day 236

Embrace the Goal of Greatness!

When a political leader told me that his ambition was to hold a high national office, I asked him how he could serve people more effectively in that office than in his present position. That was a new thought to him, because his main goal was simply to increase his personal importance.

In sharp contrast to this political leader is another government leader who deeply loves youth and their families. His position as a juvenile court judge was not just a job to him, but rather it was a means of carrying out his passion in life--to help young people learn to make wise decisions.

Two years after the first political leader talked to me, he was sent to prison for mishandling funds. However, the second leader was appointed as Director of the Department of Child Services in his state.

The command to be a servant does not mean that the desire to be great is wrong; instead it shows us what true greatness is and how to achieve it!

If we are to be great, we must first ask, "What is true greatness?" Greatness is not based on personal achievement that results in fame, fortune, or position. Rather, true greatness is what God does in and through us. (See Ephesians 1:19.) Peter did not have money, but he had the power of God working through him to carry out great works. “... Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6).

We must then ask, "What great works does God want to accomplish in and through us?" First of all, He wants to transform our souls to be conformed to His thoughts, desires, and goals. Jesus said, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

When we are in a right relationship with God, the Holy Spirit is able to do mighty works through us. (See John 14:12.) We can become aware of some of the works that God wants to do through us by being attentive to the needs we see in the lives of those around us. Human efforts become great works as they are directed by God and accomplished for His glory, in His timing, through His strength, and with His blessing.

Seeking greatness for ourselves may bring temporary acclaim, but serving God results in lasting gain.

Often, after we try to achieve greatness for the wrong reasons and in the wrong way, we are open to God teaching us His ways. Moses is a perfect example of this. He first tried in his own way to deliver his people from bondage and failed. However, when Moses was willing to fulfill God's plans in obedience to God's ways, God called him and gave him power to do great deeds. (See Exodus 3-4 and 12:41.)

In the past, have you desired to do something great for God? Did you try to achieve it in your own strength? What were the results? Is there still a need to accomplish it? Even when God calls us to do things that seem unimportant or insignificant in the eyes of the world, we must remember that as we do them faithfully unto the Lord, they will be great in His sight.

“... Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26-27).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard