Have you ever been really thirsty and felt you must have a long drink? Well, what would your choice be? A good cup (or mug) of the best English tea, well brewed and hot - most refreshing! Or perhaps your choice would be a long draught of your favorite flavored drink, well cooled in the fridge. David felt like that when he was in hiding - a stirring story (2 Sam. 23:15). But more importantly, that is what the Lord looks for in the last church in Rev. 3, Laodicea. And what does He get? A lukewarm drink, neither hot nor cold, and He will spit it out of His mouth. Nauseating, isn’t it?
Let us look at a remedy for this condition- Ambition.
The Apostle Paul uses the word “AMBITION” three times in his epistles. Here are the Scripture references:
- “Study to be quiet, and to do your own business” (1 Thess. 4:11). Our business, needless to say, is the furtherance of the Lord’s interests.
- “We labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him” (2 Cor. 5:9).
- “I have strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ is named” (Rom. 15:20).
J. N. Darby’s translation of the underlined words:
- Seek earnestly
These are alternative translations of the same Greek word.
Now consider the outcome of two lives lived with opposite DRIVING FORCES.
One was SAUL, a young man (Acts 7:58) who witnessed the triumphant martyrdom of Stephen, a moment which evidently left a deep mark upon him. His whole course in life was changed completely. You can read of his new ambitions. In very truth he could say, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:8). The same thing happened to the Scottish reformer John Knox; he witnessed, and was greatly affected by the martyrdom of George Wishart in St. Andrews (burned at the stake in 1546). And what an influence Knox had in Scotland; sadly almost completely forgotten today.
The other was KING SAUL, the first king of Israel; given to the children of Israel when they rejected God’s rule under Samuel (1 Sam. 8:5). They desired a King to reign over them - “like all the nations.” What a lowering of the standard! And the Lord gave them King Saul.
Now look at the END of these two men:
PAUL - “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto them also that love His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7).
SAUL - “Behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly” (1 Sam. 26:21).
Our beloved Lord does pay good wages:
- 10 cities - Lk. 19:17
- 5 cities - Lk. 19:19
- Many things - Mt. 25:21, 23
And much more, of which we cannot now speak particularly.
Although we have emphasized the benefits of a right choice we would fail in our duty if we did not also warn of the serious consequences of a wrong choice. The word of God reads, “If anyone build upon this foundation” (that is, our Lord Jesus Christ) which means if you are converted; if you build “wood, hay, and stubble,” if you spend your time in wrong teaching and on your own pleasure, it shall be revealed in fire, and if that work is consumed both you and I will suffer loss. We shall be saved but “so as by fire” (1 Cor. 3:12-15). You will understand therefore why we appeal to you to make the right choice.
The Lord graciously grant that you carefully consider the matter, and the results, and also make the right choice! The Lord bless you each and all.