(October 05, 2022) S. Sam Selva Raj shares about serving Jesus ambitiously and goal-orientally…
There are many people today who live with specific ambitions. As Christians we must not only have ambition in our worldly life, but also have specific ambitions in our spiritual life. One must have a strong spiritual foundation to lead a very special life.
If Christians have no spiritual ambition, they cannot lead a victorious life. James said that ‘Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do’ (James 1:8NLT).
If you want to have something special in your life, you must have good ambitions and set goals in your life to not change according to the times! Such people stay strong in the spiritual vision they have. The reality is that unless we are clear in what we believe, we cannot lead successful lives!
People who keep on changing their convictions can be compared to snakes that wriggle around. Only those who are steady in their convictions can become great servants of Christ and live as channels of blessings to others. Ambition in a goal-oriented person is greater than their life itself.
1. Ambitious Christians worship and serve God!
In Joshua 24, Israel’s leader, Joshua, challenged them about serving the God who had freed them from Egypt’s enslavement and declared in verse 15 that ‘… as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’
There’s a personal question here for you, for all of us – ‘Whom will you serve?’
We must have a strong ambition to serve the Lord. And we need equally strong vision, revelation and conviction to fulfill that serving! It is very sad to see in these days that those who have been saved change according to their circumstances. Since they are not strong in their vision and such to serve the Lord, they lose it when circumstances change! Proverbs 29:18 warns, ‘Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.’
God expects His children to worship Him only. He is zealous in this matter and not happy with Christians who change their beliefs and doctrines according to the changing times. He will only bless those who have spiritual vision and live accordingly.
Like Joshua, let us all zealously serve the Lord! May every member in our family and our church family have a strong ambition to serve the Lord all our days!
Dear reader – if you’re a ‘secret Christian’ and do not confess Jesus Christ openly, the time has come for you to change your lifestyle! The Bible doesn’t permit you to lead a fearful life. If our prayers are to reach the heavens, we need to publicly confess what the Lord Jesus has done in our lives. So, live boldly for Jesus.
Joshua was strong in his spiritual convictions and led a victorious life before his people and before his God despite challenges and disappointments. Likewise, though you live amid unfavourable circumstances, you can come through successfully if you are a Godly-ambitious person serving God and worshipping Jesus.
2. Ambitious Christians prioritise God!
Matthew 6:33 says, ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’ Jesus wants us to seek the kingdom of God first. Worldly people seek money and think that only through money all happiness can be acquired! The Bible proclaims the opposite!
When God can make the wildflowers bloom beautifully and provide food for all the wild birds and animals, can’t He provide for you and me? Worrying about ‘worldly blessings’ – food, clothing, worldly requirements and our tomorrows – is what Jesus termed, ‘O you of little faith’ (Matthew 6:30).
Sadly, we don’t worry about the things for which we should worry about! Instead we worry more about less important things than we do about seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Many Christians today primarily seek the blessings of the world and give worldly matters first preference; God’s preferences are secondary! They need to realise that they are on the way to failure!
Are you depressed, feeling defeated? If you will prioritise God, gather all your family members together and pray sincerely to Jesus, He will take away all your burdens and worries; your family will be blessed; your children will have a good future.
In order to receive such blessings, prioritise efforts to seek the kingdom of God. Your service to Him can be freed from hangovers and external influences. When you work without expecting any worldly reward, God will be pleased to bless you from heaven.
Whether your ministry is big or small, accept it happily and do it wholeheartedly. It will bring you great blessings! God will send you His timely help. He will comfort you in this world, which has full of sicknesses and sorrows. He is capable of meeting all your needs till the end of your life. The blessings that we receive from God’s hands are wholesome, perfect and superb.
We must prioritise our ambition to seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness to receive all the above blessings from God!
3. Ambitious Christians fulfill God’s purpose!
Jesus had a purpose when He lived in this world. Many followed Him with various expectations. Jesus Himself had great expectations… particularly fulfilling the many duties He had to perform for His Father no matter what.
In doing so, our Lord Jesus Christ faced many hurdles and opposition in fulfilling His purpose. The people of His time –
- Opposed Him (Matthew 8:34).
- Teased Him as a mere carpenter’s Son (Matthew 13:55).
- Didn’t believe Him (Matthew 13:58).
- Hurt Him in asking unwanted questions (John 8:6).
- Didn’t accepted Him as the Messiah (John 1:11).
- Whipped Him (Matthew 27:26).
- Spat on His face (Mark 15:19).
- Nailed to the cross and killed Him (Mark 15:24).
Despite all these bitter experiences, Jesus didn’t lose track of His purpose for which He came to this world. His only ambition was to fulfill the purpose of His Father. He proclaimed in John 4:34 that: ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work.’ We should be like Him.
Dear reader, what is your ambition in life? If you haven’t decided to please only the Lord, you should do so from this movement! For if you are strong in your ambition to fulfill God’s plan, He will surely bless you.
4. Ambitious Christians finish their God-given work!
Just before being taken Calvary Jesus was praying to His Father. His prayer for His disciples included this statement: ‘I have finished the work which you have given me to do’ (John 17:4).
If Jesus could pray like this, we must understand that we also have the responsibility to finish whatever work God has given us. Paul understood this: ‘… chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God’ (Acts 20:22-24).
Paul is confirming that he really desired to finish the ministry calling he had received from his Lord, despite any tribulation! Just like Jesus earlier. The same ministry is entrusted in our hands also.
God never calls anyone without any purpose. When God delivers someone from darkness, He gives them a specific job and the responsibility to finish it. One has to stay till the end in His purpose and fulfill the work assigned us.
Sadly in these dark days many begin well with great plans… but when they face obstacles, they give up their purpose and ambition, start procrastinating or turning in some other direction. Finally they embrace great failures. If you have a vision, you must stick to that vision, which should be greater than your very life.
I would share personally here… As I consider my own God-given calling and desire to run my race well, I could be remembering the cost and investment I have put into fulfilling my vision from God during the last 54 years. On innumerable occasions I was hard-pressed by great difficulties due to physical weaknesses and financial problems. Many times even my own relatives and my trusted friends created problems in my life.
And there are still some powers that daily discourage me, trying to stop me from fulfilling the vision God gave me and causing hindrance in my ambitious journey! But I praise the Lord that He has always brought me through and helped achieve for Him!
Like Paul, I am strong in my belief that I can do all things in Christ Jesus who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). Having known that chains and tribulations awaited him at Jerusalem, Paul didn’t turn away from the call he had received from the Lord. He wrote to Timothy, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith’ (2 Timothy 4:7).
In order to run the race God has destined for us we move forward, using the talents and gifts He has given us. I encourage you to commit to being an ambitious person who like Paul will be able to say, ‘I have happily finished the race destined for me.’
Dear reader, will you also be such a person with an ambition to serve the Lord and finish your race?
5. Ambitious Christians have God’s heaven as their goal!
Paul says in Philippians 3:13-14, ‘Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’
God expects, wants, each one of us to have a spiritual goal. He has a reward for those who achieve this goal.And what is our goal? It should be nothing but heaven at end of a race well run!
When we set everything in our life towards this goal, God blesses us. If our goal is set on worldly things we shall surely fail. Setting behind us all worldly lusts and goodness, and keeping the cross before us, we must progress towards heaven which is our goal. We must also desire in our heart to help those who do not know the Lord Jesus, so that they also receive salvation.
May our goal be heaven… God-ambitious Christians aiming on reaching this precious goal!
Dr S Sam Selva Raj founded Echo of His Call church and ministries, Chennai. For over 50 years he has established and overseen many community outreaches blessing thousands, ably assisted by son Alex Samson Raj, as are Nehemiah Bible College, St Paul’s Matriculation School, Echo of His Call – India’s National Spiritual Newspaper printed monthly in 16 languages, and post/online Bible correspondence and theological courses. Links: OnlinerConnect@gmail.com