“Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.” (Luke 11:43; see also Matthew 23:6).
A few days ago, I confessed my “platform lust” in my younger years. This problem has subtle ways of manifesting itself in a million ways, particularly for anyone in ministry at every level of involvement. The “Pharisee” or “flesh” in all of us rises to the surface whenever we are not under the Spirit’s control and Headship of Christ. They are continually seeking to promote Christ-like humility that will more powerfully do the work of ministry rather than a pseudo “Pharisee” who is more interesting in having a place and recognition.
We would never want to admit it, but this is a pervasive problem. I am ashamed to admit how often I slip into a self-centered way of thinking, especially when serving in a public setting. We have forgotten that leadership is far more effective through “Having this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). There is a dangerous complacency that sets in when we think that our years of intense learning are over. If we are yoked with Christ (Matthew 11:29), the learning process will not end until God says it is finished (Philippians 1:6) and we stand before our Lord in robes of white (Revelation 6:11) and “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:4).
“Now He [Jesus] told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them…But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you” (Luke 14:10).
Thank you Lord for putting your finger on our heart problem. Help us to always be ‘in training’ as yoked with You. Amen!
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