KEY SCRIPTURE: Luke 14:10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
RELEVANCE Most of us want to be famous at some stage in our lives. I remember racing my brother John and a cousin on the swings as kids. Not to see who could swing the highest, a typical swing thing. But to see who would win the Formula 1 race of our imaginations.
John chose to be Sterling Moss, "the greatest driver never to win the Formula One World Championship." Being the younger brother, I was 'given' Jack Brabham, Formula One World Champion in 1959, 1960, and 1966. My cousin, a mere girl in a man's sport, was given some nondescript driver with a made-up name. We told her he was a champion. (A belated sorry).
We would all start on the gun, so to speak, and swing our hardest until the race was finished after so many swings. We all pushed like crazy, as John called the race. There were no wimps here; it was a battle to the end to see who was the champion, all of us yelling like winners as we crossed the finish line.
There is something vital within us that wants to be a champion, that won't give in until the bell goes, that will grind away push after push until there is nothing left to give. That desire to win is also biblical—to a degree.
The Gospel includes a race set before us. Hebrews 12:1 and 10:36. Again, it is called A House Christ Builds. Hebrews 12:2 and 3:3,6.
The just, who run this Way, live by faith, run by faith, build by faith. But the desires have changed. The just who run have handed over the Championship Cup to Christ and submitted themselves to lesser personal aspirations. They no longer want to be a famous Christian known to all the world, receiving accolades. They are happy in the back seat being nobody.
The Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 6, sees Jesus calling His followers to be different, particularly in the desire to be someone special. When they give offerings or help someone out, not to trumpet it around, but do the opposite by sitting in Christ's back seat and keeping quiet about it. Or when they pray, to be satisfied with the secrecy of Christ's closet, and in our key scripture, to be satisfied with any seat at the function, regardless of which lowly table the hosts have placed our name tag.
It takes a while to get the hero's desire out of us, but for ministry's sake, it's imperative. We grow up with unrealistic heroes like Superman, who is known and welcomed by everybody. They are all super fit, and very humble, and none of them are married. The whole concept is bizarre, yet we don't question it.
If Jesus Christ and His authentic humility filled out comic books and TV series, the world would be vastly different to live in today—a world of We, not Me.
From scripture, we see our true biblical heroes as our examples. They did not self-elevate. God chose the people He wished to elevate and chose the timing.
For every Bible hero, there are hundreds unrecognised. 1 Kings 19:18 states, Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
How many names of these men, women and children do you know? Not one. They received no biblical fame, yet their names are written down in Glory. Would we be satisfied with that alone?
PRAYER Dear Lord, thank you for basing your walk of faith on humble foundations. The race set before us cannot abide egos, so please help me with anything that even resembles the pride of human recognition. Please help me to be satisfied with your Glory alone.
Photo by Philip Veater