"'Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.'" Jeremiah 45:5
Jeremiah 45 is a short message to Baruch, Jeremiah's faithful secretary. Baruch "had written on a scroll the words that Jeremiah was ... dictating." Baruch's brother, Seraiah, was given an important position by King Zedekiah, and it would have been tempting for Baruch to seek a royal position like his brother. But Jeremiah reminded him not to seek great things for himself.
Ambition is a double-edged sword. We want to succeed in our work and provide for our families. We want our children to be ambitious. We want them to study hard and make good grades. We want them to attend a challenging college or training school that will prepare them well. We teach them not to settle for second best. But the double-edged sword of ambition must have a clear purpose or it cuts the wrong way.
As believers, our purpose is to do great things for God. Our ambition should be to follow hard after Him. God doesn't want us to slide through life with a "whatever" attitude. "We are His work of art, created in Christ Jesus to do good works that He prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10). The apostle Paul said, "It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known" (Romans 15:20). What is your ambition? How would you complete the sentence, "It has always been my ambition to ..."?
Father, place a drive, passion, and ambition in our hearts. Teach us the difference between selfish ambition and godly ambition. Help us to do great things for you. In Jesus' name. Amen.