As a leader called by God, what will be my greatest ambition? In what way will I truly please my Master?
All leaders work to reach a place of success in their work for God. There is something hypnotising to be on top to receive recognition and reward. It makes one feel good to be on a place applauded by people in this side of history.
In Exodus 33, Moses as a leader learned that what matters the most is to be in God’s presence and talk to Him face to face as one with a friend (v.11).
Can I truly say that nothing compares and competes with the intense longing to enjoy communion with God in the glory of His presence? To learn what truly matters between performance for God and to be in His presence is my greatest challenge as a leader. In my experience, the more work I do in ministry the less I have in lingering moments to be with God. Honestly, there is in me a strong lust for prestige rather than simply love being in God’s presence.
My Performance or His Presence?
But what God desires is not so much my performance for Him but to be with Him in His presence (cf Mk 3:14; Lk 10:42). It is only when I truly live and love the pleasure of God alone will I die from the allure of prestige that working for “success”, even for God, in this world. The cure for my worldly longing is to enter in solitude to gain an eternal perspective and enjoy God’s presence (see Ps 73:17, 25).
While visiting Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, Illinois recently I am reminded of this issue. Displayed is a gallery of photos to show Billy’s successful crusades from the key cities of the world. Thousands attended. Photographers and journalists captured the moment to present the resounding success of BIlly Graham Crusades. And I said Amen!
Two photographs of Billy attracted me and my photo taken with him on his rocking chair reading and reflecting on his Bible and the other in deep prayer. Then I remember him to say that if he would start his ministry again he would pray more and preach less, read his Bible more and travel less. He said it right. To be present with God cannot be neglected because we want to perform for God.
To do so I must learn to slow down in order to spend more time in God’s presence. Of course, this easier said than done. I must die to the world’s success to stay in solitude.
When we stand face to face with Jesus the fundamental issue is not success in relation to the bigness of our accomplishment but faithfulness in relation to spiritual gifts and stewardship of our talents. We don’t compare as to who is the greatest performer but simply being faithful no matter how small our work is.
In heaven, we will no longer work for the kingdom but worship the King to all eternity. Then I must start really enjoying His presence and the sheer pleasure of loving Him and being loved by Him.
National Director, A2/Philippines