Adjusting My Concept of Greatness

Adjusting my Concept of Greatness. Establishing my value before God in a world that has its own definition of greatness. plungedeep-climbsteep.com

 

When I was a teenager, I had vague ideas about greatness. I knew that God had a plan for my life, but I always felt like I was destined for something amazing, whatever that happened to be. Since God was going to do something amazing, it stood to reason that of course I would most likely be a preacher’s wife. So I surrendered to be a preacher’s wife. (It’s so fun to laugh at myself now, tee hee.) When it came time for college, it was no surprise when I felt God’s peace directing me to Bible college. Where else do you meet preacher boys than at a Bible college? But God had the upper hand of that joke. He led me to one of the few young men there that was not actually called to preach, and who left Bible college to seek God’s will in a secular career choice.

Well now what? How could I be greatly used by God, if I wasn’t even going to be in full-time ministry? God showed me that I don’t need a title to dedicate my life and time to Him. My husband doesn’t need to be paid by the church to have a heart that loves God and wants to serve Him.

God is the One who defines what is great.

Our secular values system has ingrained into us that those with education are great; those with éclat are great; those with money are great; those that are celebrities are great; those who are popular are great; and those that are knowledgeable are great.

We need to come to terms with the fact that this is His world. He is the One who gets to put the value on greatness.

Do you know who God says is great? The servant.

Matthew 23:11, 12- “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

The least recognized. The hardest worker. The grimiest, most disheveled. The one who isn’t well-dressed because they gave their clothes away. The one who least expects it, because they have no idea of their own merit. They only wanted to love their Jesus as much as they could.

No matter what I write, I keep seeming to come back to these verses. Matthew 22:36-40 ~ “Master which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

The greatest will be the one that loved most.

I can’t help but think that this will be a little elderly lady from the middle of nowhere, who poured out her life in prayer for her preacher, and gave her hard-earned savings to missionaries every chance she got, and took in the lost and forlorn and gave them food she should have eaten herself.  The longer I’m alive, and the more acquainted I am with myself, the farther down on that ‘totem pole’ of heaven I see myself.

God has the right to decide who and what we will be.

Romans 9:20, 21- “Nay but, O man, who art thou that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?”

2 Timothy 2:20, 21- “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and repaired unto every good work.”

If you want to be used for great things, you need only be clean.

Apart from God, we cannot be great.

I cannot do it myself. I especially cannot love of myself. Loving is one of the hardest things for me to do, as I explained in this post. I’m so grateful that we can grow in the Spirit, that He increases His fruits in us, one of which is love. It is His moving and growing and changing in our lives that even makes it possible for us to be qualified for greatness.

Apart from death, we cannot be great.

John 12:24-26 ~ “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.”

John 12:24,25 Bible verse quote. plungedeep-climbsteep.com #life #giving

Death for life, debasement for elevation, etc.

But ultimately,

Greatness doesn’t matter.

The older I’ve gotten, farther from those days of ambitious ignorance, the more I’ve realized that being great just really doesn’t matter. I used to think that I may not be great in this world’s history book, but I could still be great in God’s history book. But now, I just want Him to know that I love Him. Being great isn’t worth it all. HE is worth it all. I can only give my all to the One who loves me OH! so much!

Just to be loved by Him gives me the greatest worth of all.

As long as I matter to you, Lord, I don't care if I matter to anyone else. plungedeep-climbsteep.com . Christian quote. #greatness, #importance, #acceptance

36 Comments
  1. Loved your post! I too was going to do great things for God. Beautiful, and noble things. I had big dreams to save the world. God took me where I never planned to go. Right, where he wanted me and right where I would have to rely on him completely. He took me into the world of mental health challenges to those around me. I too no longer search for greatness just GOD.

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  2. Beautiful, insightful post, Liz. These words, especially, have found a home in my weary, insecure heart this week: “Just to be loved by Him gives me the greatest worth of all.” Amen! In a world that celebrates the loud, proud and obvious, it pays to be small in their eyes and to rest in what God thinks of us. Thank you. 🙂 x

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  3. I love these insights and your conclusion at the end, “But now I just want Him to know that I love Him.” That’s the bottom line and a good reminder for me today. Thank you for sharing, Liz!

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  4. Bethany, I’m so glad He patiently teaches us what it means to be great in His eyes and as He does He opens our eyes to His true greatness, the Only One Worth of our praise! Thanks for a great post! I’m pinning and sharing.

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  5. Wow! What a thought-provoking post! Thanks, Liz! Even among Christians, we tend to be so focused on ‘greatness’, but I love this reminder of greatness as seen by God. And I especially love this sentiment – ‘But now, I just want Him to know that I love Him. Being great isn’t worth it all. HE is worth it all. I can only give my all to the One who loves me OH! so much!’ Blessings to you, Liz!

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  6. Thank you for this Liz! Lots of wisdom here, thankful that God does not look at things the way the world does. He looks at the heart…huge blessings over you & the ministry God is opening before you to share His truth!

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    • Debbie! So happy you came by and that my post resonated with you. I’ll take all the blessings I can get! I love how all these comments are giving Him so much praise! ❤ ❤

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  7. I love this post. I too had beliefs of what I would do and how I would live this magic life, selfless for God…and then I was not doing those things! And now I see how I can furhter His love and message as a mom than I ever could have in the world. Because this is WHERE He wants me.

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  8. So good Liz!! I have been going through much of the same process- redefining goals and measurement of them. I am working less this year (striving less) and abiding more and I am loving it!! I have to continually go back to Him for a readjustment of my perspective but He is always faithful to give it when I seek it. His burden is easy and His yoke light when we keep the priorities as He gives them such a learning process though! 🙄😉

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    • Haha! 😉 It took me awhile to accept the fact that there’s no actual arrival point while I’m here. We’ll be learning till the day we die! But that doesn’t mean it has to be unpleasant….quite glorious actually ❤ Thanks for stopping by, Gretchen.

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  9. ” I don’t need a title to dedicate my life and time to Him.” Amen! Sometimes I am tempted to be bothered that people don’t know all I do to serve the Lord, but I try to let that go quickly, because that is where we start striving to please people instead of truly pleasing God. He said that if we get our reward on this earth via the praise of men, then we won’t get a reward in heaven for whatever that was that we did. Sometimes, in my immaturity, I would rather have it now instead of waiting, but when I really think about it, deep down, I really want His praise, and it will be worth waiting for in the end.

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    • Yes, it was so hard when I was a janitor at my Bible college to to have the secretaries recognized but then to not even have a staff member smile at me when I changed his trashcan. 😀 God showed me very quickly that ministry is not about who sees you! Thank you for reading.

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      • What kind of world would we have if no one emptied the trash or cleaned the bathrooms? To me, these jobs are important. The philosophy of the world tries to say that the people who do those jobs are not as important as people who do other jobs, but it is a lie from we-know-where. Jesus was willing to do the lowliest of work when on this earth, and He told us to do the same. And that’s the truth. Keep up the good work, no matter what others say! 🙂

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      • ❤ thank you! It was actually my best college experience, because it was how God showed me what ministry is all about, and where I learned the discipline of hard work! Blessings!

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  10. “God has the right to decide who and what we will be.” I think we often forget that because we grow up answering the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Thanks for this perspective…I”m going to be praying about how to help my kids understand it as they grow and think about the future.

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    • My oldest finished kindergarten last year, and hi social studies book asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. It was a good opportunity for telling him that while it’s okay to have ideas about it, we need to pray and ask God as we grow what HE wants us to do, because He has a plan for each of us. It was kinda funny when his piano teacher wanted to do a small biography for each of her students and he told her all of that! 🙂

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  11. I served my heart out in ministry for over 20 years, only to get laid off from my position there after 10 years. I found myself burned out and wondering if I would ever again to great things or God. I am realizing that every day affords me the opportunity to do something great. My perspective has completely changed.

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    • Yes, as long as we are doing what He wants, then it’s bound to be great because He is in it! Thanks for reading, Barbie, and for letting me share on your linkup ❤

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  12. Amen, Liz! God is who does the determining of greatness! Not the world, social media, or our best friend – God! I’ve struggled with that often in my life and it only leads to comparison and feelings of inadequacy. Love this message and the hope you point to! Thanks for coming alongside me to share hope with the world at #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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