"The question is not what you're promoted to, it's who is promoting you" -Bill Johnson Wow. I think as a whole, in society, we have a general idea of what we think promotion looks like. In the business world it looks like a job that gave you an extra 0 on the paycheck with a nice benefits package. If you're in ministry perhaps it's being given that "title" you've been looking for, pastor, evangelist, etc. maybe it's being invited to speak at that conference with "those" speakers. I'm sure it comes with a company car, paid time off, and the ability to vacation to an exotic island.
Ironically I find that God looks at promotion quite differently than we do. When he wanted to promote Joseph, he sent him to prison first. When he anointed David as king, he had to serve a king that tried to kill him. When He showed "favor" on Mary, He made her pregnant as a virgin, ostracizing her from society.
How certain are you that you want God's type of promotion now? :)
I remember an Oswald Chambers quote I used to think about often, "I find temptation in my own life, simply looks like a shortcut to my highest goal."
The reality is, God is not the only one who will offer you a promotion. Man will offer you a promotion, you can try and self-promote, the enemy himself will promote you. Truth be told not every open door that looks like promotion is God's favor, and learning to distinguish the difference is imperative. The enemy would love to have you sign the dotted line of a seemingly good "promotion" so that he can make you pay the price for it later. The Word says that "the blessing of the Lord maketh rich and adds no sorrow with it" (Prov. 10:22) When God promotes you, there will be no sorrow, and He will sustain you in it.
When Joseph was promoted to the prison, He was sustained over and over and over again by God, and eventually that prison became a palace. Joseph had to be obedient in the prison to ever reach the palace. Many of us are waiting for the palace opportunity to decide we're going to be obedient in the first place.
I can see clearly now the times that promotion was my temptation and I mistook it for God when it wasn't. Sometimes men and women of God see something in you that isn't completely ready to be released yet, maybe they see a need you can help meet, maybe you're just simply well liked, or maybe you're just persistent! There were times I was so hungry to do what I was "made for", that I forgot I get to do what I was made for everyday by simply worshipping Him.
Every open door is not necessarily God's desire for you. In my short 8 years of traveling I've never been on a mission trip or spoken in a church without first getting the blessing of a pastor, mentor, or spiritual parent. Understanding Kingdom covering is essential to stepping into the promotion and fullness of God's plans for your life. Never place more honor and importance in an open door than you do your covering. Opportunities will come and go, covering preserves life. I thank God for the men and women who have empowered my yes and never been afraid to tell me no.
It is an orphan spirit that will cause you to JUMP on EVERY opportunity because at its core it believes "another opportunity might not come around". Not knowing God as a good and faithful Father will leave you grasping onto every "good thing" that may not be a "God thing".
Leif Hetland spoke at our school yesterday and he said, "when you don't need anything, you can be entrusted with everything".
My friends, you don't step into "what you were born for" when you get your promotion, or achieve this status, or that salary, or that title... you step into it today, while you're faithfully serving Him where you are. You were made TO BE WITH HIM and there is NO ASSIGNMENT greater than this. Psalm 27:4... He is the One Thing.
Holy Spirit will ask you to say no to a lot of things that look like "promotion" and have you say yes to a lot of things that are servanthood with humility. As Papa Bill says," I'll never say yes to a promotion that wasn't given by Him, because I choose to never be indebted to my enemy. Whatever is gained through self promotion, must be sustained through self promotion, but whatever comes from God, He sustains"
My Papa is a good Father. He has a plan for your life and that plan begins with being a child. Learn how to do family with Him. Allow Him to be a Dad. Allow other believers to become spiritual fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, learn to live life in direct communion with Him. Trust Him. Pursue Him. Then relax, He's got you.