Life Lessons: Now What? Getting Ahead God’s Way

Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, St. Matthews Baptist Church


What does “getting ahead” mean?  


A man, once called Saul, who is better known by his later name, the Apostle Paul, said it is not by living on one’s own terms; not by seeking social prestige; not by trying to win people’s approval; not by advancing ahead of other people his age; and not by burning with passion that is disconnected from right purpose.


Figuring out the best answer for the “getting ahead” question determines where and how we “end-up” in life.  The answer shapes our vision for life, our relationship with family & friends, our connections to money and possessions, and our pursuit of opportunities.  


Simply put … what we are willing or not willing to do is guided by our ambition.  God’s best for us is the right ambition to have.


Ambition (from the Latin, meaning “to go around”) means to put out the effort to accomplish what we desire.  What we consistently desire is crucial.  Good desires craft good ambitions.  Bad desires lead to bad ambitions.  Jesus said be careful to know what you treasure because it will shape your heart (Matthew 6:19-21).


The question is not whether we should or should not be ambitious.  But how do we ensure our ambitions are rooted in God’s character – so we don’t come up short after we get what we want?  Hence the phrase “be careful what you want for you will surely get it.”


 Jesus told us to want – after we’ve grounded ourselves in the Kingdom of God (Matt. 5:48, 6:33) – for good wanting = good ambitions which = good efforts which = true fulfillment.  Spiritual ambition is finding out what God wants us to do and then “to go around” doing it.


Paul’s life was changed when God “called me by His grace” (Gal.1:15).  From his failures he learned how to be successful.  We can also!  


Together, let’s commit to “By the grace of God, I will do what I can do and I will be who I can be.”


Pastor Les Hollon


“We must nurture our dreams like we would a child.  They are God-given and just as precious.  Without ambition how would a child learn to ride a bicycle, play an instrument or whistle?  We deny the spirit of God when we as adults settle for less than our dreams!”
-Conway Stone


This article was written by Les Hollon, Pastor of St. Matthews Baptist Church.  For more information about life lessons, St. Matthews Baptist Church, or to contact Dr. Hollon, click over to St. Matthews Baptist Church.


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Posted on 17 January, 2009 in Gratitude, Spirituality
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