Originally published Thursday, 18 August 2016.
Get that job.
Stand in big lights.
Know big people.
Do whatever you have to do to get ahead.
Associate only with those who can help you.
Climb up the ladder to get somewhere better, higher.
"Come, let us build for ourselves a city,
and a tower whose top will reach into heaven,
and let us make for ourselves a name..." Gen. 11:4
Do whatever it takes to build a ladder to more fame, greater visibility, a meeting with that person. Don't even worry about those you leave behind, or stop talking to. Don't get consumed with the fact you've only got an eye on helping yourself. Don't worry that you build up only those who benefit you. Don't mind the fact that you are often jealous. Just build. Then, climb. Build. Then, climb.
Promote your name. Build.
Establish yourself your brand. Build.
Make great your story. Build.
I get questions about this kind of thing often, "How do I build platform? How do I stand out, Kelly?"
Half of me wants to write back, "The only one who is due a platform is Jesus. Get off it and build yourself a low seat (Lu. 14:10)." I want to say that. I also want to say, "Stop being concerned about you and get yourself obsessed with him." I want to say that too, but then, I realize, in some ways, I would need to carbon copy myself on this email - and put myself in handcuffs. I am guilty.
It is hard to escape the lure; it is endorsed so heavily, by the world, as the way to go.
So, I stack bricks and mortar trying to reach some higher plane, but what I need to do is bow down and let Jesus reign.
He can do all things.
He can build all things.
He can create all things.
He can manage all things.
He can expand all things.
My best doesn't compare to his blessed.
Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Phil 2:3-4 MSG)
To let Jesus reign and to be less vain, looks like this - to:
1. Pray for those you're prone to judge.
2. Help those you're inclined to fear.
3. Offer a hand to those who can't handle life.
4. Worship with childlike expectation.
5. Wonder and wait for where God wants you to go.
6. Move towards the small and seemingly stupid thing he might be calling you to.
7. Let go of numbers and grab hold of hearts in need.
8. Surrender progress and claim a God who requires no performance.
9. Get alone so that Jesus can accompany you in all you do.
10. Encourage others in their calling.
11. Acknowledge you're prone to fall, but God is never prone to leave you.
12. Accept help. Accept forgiveness.
13. Receive love.
14. Fail a bit.
15. Let Jesus hold you.
16. Let rejection be bandaged by him who cares.
17. Discover the small learnings under your skin of inadequacy.
18. Give good gifts and offer them abundantly.
19. Let the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, lead. Then, give thanks.
20. Focus on God's power to bless and not on man's.
21. Stop and rest.
22. Love the small ones being neglected.
23. Get vulnerable with Jesus.
24. Let imperfections fly.
25. Check your heart.
Bonus: Give others the benefit of grace.
I love this list. I want to clasp it on my wrist like a medical emergency band - for without doing these things, I truly might die to my own selfishness. I am not trying to sound melodramatic. I am serious. The stakes are way too high to mess around trying to climb higher when Jesus is always found lower.
What a waste. I want to be where Jesus is, don't you?
I want to get low, and then:
- lift him high.
- make him seen.
- market his heart.
- proclaim his beauty worked out in me.
- shout it all from the rooftops.
- speak as he would speak into other's lives.
There is nothing wrong with that.
But, I never want to climb so high, that I put myself above - Him.
If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.” (James 4:6 MSG)
What will we choose -
to be enamored with ourselves and enemies of God
or to die to ourselves and to come alive to God?
"What he gives in love is far better than anything else we'll find..."
God is offering us his highest blessings. Will we grab them? They aren't found at the top of a ladder, but low, very low. As you bow down, you will find them, the small breadcrumbs of grace laid out just for you - so you can find your way right to his love.