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Dying to Ambition

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Dying to Ambition
by T. Austin-Sparks


What do we expect when we go on with God, when we come right out for God? What have we in view?

Well, the answer to that question will decide whether, in relation to God, we have ambitions for something on the earth. Do you get the point? You see, it is so possible to swing over your natural ambitions to spiritual aims. It is the same thing still at work, and the only difference is the direction or sphere. You can be as ambitious in the work of God as you can be in the world, and it is the same natural ambition. It is the ambitiousness of nature.

You desire - what do you desire? To see something, to have something, to be in something? Ambition for success... yes, once it was in the world - now the same ambition transferred to other things.

You see, it is very often to the children - the kindergarten - the elementary stages of faith, where there is not the capacity to take very much strain, that God has to give quick results and manifest signs. The marks of maturity are equally the withdrawing of outward manifestations and signs - the demand to walk with God alone for God's own sake. It is a mark of graduation in the school of God that He can withdraw outward things. It shows that we have passed the test as to whether we are ambitious in this life.

It is a mark of going on when we can come to the place where it is true before God that we have let go all the prosperity and success even of Christian work and Christian ministry (as men would count). It is a sure sign of growth to be able to let go the great opportunities and the great advantages that may be had amongst Christian people... and the prizes that can be grasped... and to say: "It is all right, the Lord knows; it is for Him to give or withhold. I am not going to make a line for those prizes. I am not going to allow those things to influence my walk with God. Ambition is not going to dictate my course."

It may not seem here on earth to mean very big things - wide open doors and all that, but somehow you may take it that there is Life there - spiritual influence there - something that is counting there. In the end it will have counted. But this does sometimes first of all necessitate that conflict with ambition where all those suggestions and influences have to be laid low and we come to the place where we see that the way of Life is to go on with God though it costs us everything. The law of the Spirit of Life works in that way.

The way of Life demands that we shall get before the Lord and say, "Lord, though all my earthly prospects fade, though all my ambitions are disappointed, it is You I want. You are my ambition - my goal. If I have You, these other things will count for much less."

I believe that as we can get there... and not many of us have gotten a long way on that road... but as we can get there, we find the secret of Life, of joy, of release. I am not so sure that we shall not find that God is able to give back the prizes here. He withdraws them that we may turn from them to Himself. And when He has us for Himself, He may give something here; He may give blessing here on this earth.

But let us remember that His desire is to have us for Himself for His own sake; and as we fall into line, Life is found there. It is the way of Life. The law of Life demands that everything should be for the Lord... without any other influence or consideration... the Lord Himself.

In keeping with T. Austin-Sparks' wishes that what was freely received should be freely given, his writings are not copyrighted. Therefore, we ask if you choose to share them with others, please respect his wishes and offer them freely - free of changes, free of charge and free of copyright.
 
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The world is filled with professed "Christian" men and women, churches and charities that do much under the banner of the name of God, but carry no cross, (except perhaps a wooden one around the neck or on the wall) preach no saving gospel message, and amount to nothing for God. They seek wealth, and comfort and a good name in this world, and offer nothing more than lip service to the kingdom of God. God has become their Santa Clause, and ceased to be Lord of anything in their lives. They're lives are filled with "Me, Myself, and I." Is this what Jesus meant when He told us to bare our cross? - Mark 8:34, "...Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, (that includes personal ambitions) and take up his cross, and follow me."
If a man or woman has become so 'popular' on the job, in his community, in the pulpit, on stage, he will not tell a single soul how to be saved, lest his 'own' good name become an offence, he does not serve Christ, but self. He once said yes to Christ, (and proudly calls himself a christian) but then found it to be more comfortable to please himself and others. To quote some 'famous' christians, "I would`nt tell them they are a sinner"...and "I`m not trying to convert anybody" Woe to them!

"But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you." -Matthew 21:28-31
 
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That's what I call duck and dodge preachin' Coconut.LOL The Truth will make some free and many mad. Jesus said to decern a tree by the fruit it bears. Reminds me of a sermon I preached years ago,"Are You Bearing Fruit Or Just Wearing Fruit" It seems many are dressing themselves up like shimmering christmas trees, decorated with all kinds of fancy eyecatchers and plastic fruit.
 
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jiggyfly said:
What do we expect when we go on with God, when we come right out for God? What have we in view?
Well, the answer to that question will decide whether, in relation to God, we have ambitions for something on the earth. Do you get the point? You see, it is so possible to swing over your natural ambitions to spiritual aims. It is the same thing still at work, and the only difference is the direction or sphere. You can be as ambitious in the work of God as you can be in the world, and it is the same natural ambition. It is the ambitiousness of nature. - T. Austin-Sparks
Coconut said:
The world is filled with professed "Christian" men and women, churches and charities that do much under the banner of the name of God, but carry no cross, (except perhaps a wooden one around the neck or on the wall) preach no saving gospel message, and amount to nothing for God. They seek wealth, and comfort and a good name in this world, and offer nothing more than lip service to the kingdom of God. God has become their Santa Clause, and ceased to be Lord of anything in their lives. They're lives are filled with "Me, Myself, and I." Is this what Jesus meant when He told us to bare our cross? - Mark 8:34, "...Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, (that includes personal ambitions) and take up his cross, and follow me."
Philippians 3:10-11 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (KJV)

Matthew 6:1 "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven." (NKJV)

Corinthians 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. (KJV)

The way of Life demands that we shall get before the Lord and say, "Lord, though all my earthly prospects fade, though all my ambitions are disappointed, it is You I want. You are my ambition - my goal. If I have You, these other things will count for much less."
I believe that as we can get there... and not many of us have gotten a long way on that road... and not many of us have gotten a long way on that road... but as we can get there, we find the secret of Life, of joy, of release. I am not so sure that we shall not find that God is able to give back the prizes here. He withdraws them that we may turn from them to Himself. And when He has us for Himself, He may give something here; He may give blessing here on this earth.
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

Galatians 6:8-10 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.


But let us remember that His desire is to have us for Himself for His own sake; and as we fall into line, Life is found there. It is the way of Life. The law of Life demands that everything should be for the Lord... without any other influence or consideration... the Lord Himself.
John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
 

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