If I get out from under God’s guidance and start to build my kingdom for my glory, things will get off track quickly. Oh, we can still be “successful” by worldly terms but odds are, we’ll have substantial collateral damage in our relationships with those we love most.
You cannot build your kingdom and serve HIS Kingdom.
Morgan talks in chapter 1 about this faulty need in us of making a name for ourselves, making a little money and getting something going. So, we spend our best energy at work and show up with home with mere scraps. We scramble to prove to the world we have what it takes.
Because we’re building the wrong thing.
Morgan says that “I was always up, always on. I found myself as a victim of this and frequently on defense. And probing, I asked myself the question, “How am I loved” and my answer was “I am loved when I come through”. I’d made an agreement with needing to always come through for others. And I feared my epitaph would read, “He came through. He always came through proudly and anxiously for many and for much – at the expense of who and what mattered most.”
We talked last week about Rob & Carrie Strickland and their ministry at Highland Community Church and Truth Spring. Their ministry is 15+ years old all right there on 5th avenue. Most of Columbus flies up and down 2nd avenue rushing downtown to build their careers. Few know what truly goes on over on 5th avenue.
There is a deep humility in their ministry. There are no grand buildings. No monuments. Nothing that would draw your attention. Ministry there is happening one broken, messy person at a time. They are changing a neighborhood and a people from the inside out. Isn’t this what Jesus modeled? Isn’t this how He changes us?
You and I cannot build these monuments of worldly glory and be His disciples. The two are mutually exclusive. Our structures are in competition with our intimacy with God, and He knows they’re not getting us any closer to His heart.
Jesus modeled this at the Last Supper. The Messiah, the Creator, the Son of the Most High God lowered Himself before the meal and washed the feet of His disciples – all 12 including Judas who would betray Him. Jesus – the exalted One – took the lowest seat at the table and took on the posture of servant…
And He took that posture all the way up to the Cross. He came as a King but not the kind of “king” the world knew. He didn’t build castles or empires or grand buildings to His glory. He didn’t set out to make a little money, make a reputation or to build his stature in the power structure. He came to serve.
He poured Himself out for us.
So, yes, Morgan’s first chapter is entitled “Becoming Powerful” but it isn’t the “powerful” that this world knows. It is men consenting to the process of being broken down so He can build us back up. It is navigating the process of restoration to become the kind of man who could handle the power he’s been entrusted with.
Do you stand over your family demanding they respect you? Do you keep score with your wife and expect her to serve you more than you are serving her? At work, are you not satisfied that you’re not getting the attention and accolades you “deserve”? Do you live in fear that it will all run out or that business won’t flourish or that you’ll never achieve that reputation you’re striving for? Tomorrow, at Thanksgiving, with your wife and the family, will you sit back and wait to be served or will you live day with the posture of servant, not keeping score but pouring yourself out for them?