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