What ambitions is a Christian allowed to have?

'There is power in ambition - make no mistake.'
( Demosthenes; Lord Roseberry...)

Many people achieve nothing in this life, for they AIM for nothing.

They have ..

  • no master-ambition which governs them
  • no unifying-principle
  • no mainspring, which controls how they 'tick'.

Let us look at Christ's ambitions

    His ambition was to do the will of God. John 5:30. He lived for this; it consumed HIS whole time and attention.

    It was :-

      • His daily food - John 4:34
      • His constant delight - Psalm 40:7-8. (Heb 10:7).
      • His deepest prayer - Luke 22:42-44

    This ambition governed Him completely and He has left us an example that we should FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS.
    1 Peter 2:21.

Lesson 1.
No ambition is legitimate, unless this is the master-ambition, the inspiring motive - to do the will of God, whatever the cost.

  • Paul's ambitions
    • His ambition was to be holy.
    • He expresses this in different ways; but this is always what it amounts to:-
      • "I press toward the mark. ." Phil 3:7-21.
      • "We labour, that ...we may be accepted of (pleasing to) HIM. 2 Cor 5:9.
    • He commands all believers to have these same ambitions. Phil 3:15-17. 1 Cor 4:16, 11:1

Lesson 2.
No ambition is legitimate, unless it serves this master-ambition - to be holy and well pleasing to God.

  • In short :-
    • A Christian, being a spiritual person, has spiritual ambitions as the great driving forces of his life. All else takes second-place to this. No other ambition is allowable, unless it positively helps in the fulfilling of these spiritual ambitions. All ambitions which DO help in this way are therefore permitted. What liberty !!

  • Forbidden ambitions
    • On the whole, 3 main ambitions rule the world :-
      • to build a reputation; to be someone.
      • to amass wealth or possessions.
      • to wield power.

  • Consider To have reputation, wealth, or power, is not in itself wrong. But to spend your time. and energy seeking such things - to have the desire for them as the DRIVING FORCE in your life - this is wrong.

      • Reputation 2 Chron 32:25, Dan 4:30 ff., Jer 45:5, John 5:44.
      • Wealth Matt 6:19, 1 Tim 6:6-12, Eccl 5:10.
      • Power Mark 10:35-45. Christ's disapproval meets James' and John's request, for their motive was 'for us'.

    "A God-approved ambition must be pure and noble, tinged with self-abnegation and self-sacrifice. The disciple recognises that he belongs to Christ..... Like his Lord, he cherishes the ambition to give rather than to receive, to serve rather than to be served to use his time and talents for his Master rather than debase them in pursuit of self-aggrandisement."

    (J. Oswald Sanders).

Lesson 3.
No ambition is legitimate which merely seeks the advancement of yourSELF.

  • A closing note.
    • many people - even Christian people - have NO ambitions.
    • They drift. Others have chosen their ambitions, but they choose to drift along and simply take whatever comes.
    • God is severely displeased with such an attitude, for it is directly contrary to the command to live to His glory. There are very many who need to REPENT of this ungodly attitude.