Spiritual Inventory #3—The Struggle with Self

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Do you struggle with self? The answer for us all? Yes! Over the past years God has spoken strongly to me about a matter in which everyone (including me!) has a struggle at some time(s) in their life. Some struggle more than others in this area of life. What is it? SELFISH AMBITION!

While reading through the book of Genesis, God impacted me in the eleventh chapter. The Scripture states:

Now the whole earth had one language and one speech…and they said, “Come let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” Genesis 11: 1, 4-5, 7, NKJV

Notice, that the intent of the people was to make a name for themselves. God could not work with this kind of people. Why? They would be more interested in their mission than in His.

Their intentions are to honor the Lord but they get out of focus and start building a name for themselves.
Many parents, employers, employees, pastors, teachers, deacons, and authors get in the same trap today. Their intentions are to honor the Lord but they get out of focus and start building a name for themselves.

How does God respond? He responds to us the same way He did to the people of Babel—He brings confusion!
Is God the author of confusion? Absolutely not! His Truth never brings confusion but He will bring confusion to my life and yours if we become selfish in our ambition.

God confused the people who came to be known as the people of Babel so that they could no longer do what they wanted to do. Many today try to do things their way so that they can receive honor and recognition for their success.

You may say that most of your ambition is for the Lord. I said the same thing. I reasoned with God that if I measured my “selfish ambition” on a scale from 1 to 10, I would be about a “2”. God made if very clear to me that “2” is too much.

God desires a person who is completely sold out to His agenda. God wants a people whose focus is to make a name for Him.

God brough a powerful Scripture to mind as He shared these truths with me.

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder (confusion) and every evil practice. James 3: 14-16, NIV

God shook me when I read that. God will bring confusion to your life when you are seeking to impress others. In fact, such confusion will come that many will probably see your problems and complexities in life while you are blind to it.

May I challenge you to ask God to search your heart and see if there is any selfish ambition, and “making a name for yourself” attitudes. If He shows you, do not deny it, simply repent and get back on track with “making a name for God.”

Are there areas of your life in which you need to turn from selfish-ambition and adjust to God?.

Applying what God is pointing out to you is essential. How will you apply this truth to your life today?

Write a short prayer to God that summarizes your thoughts.

Did God bring to mind someone who needs to hear this truth? Who?