Beware Ambition!

Taken from Oswald Chambers in Workmen of God - The Cure of Souls)

It is probable that indirectly Barnabus was responsible for Ananias (Acts 5). Barnabus had done a wonderful thing and doubtless he was praised for it, and Ananias wanted to equal it. We need to live stedfastly in the presence of God so that when we are praised we don't arouse the spirit of envy, the spirit that makes a man want to do something not because he loves God, but because he wants to emulate us. Let me ask you who are workers, and let me ask myself, 'Why do you work for the salvation of souls? Why do you want to spend and be spent for others?' 'Mrs. So-and-so does it and she is my ideal.' Beware! 'I watched Mr. So-and-so and I want to be like him.' Beware! God grant we may see that the great need of every worker is a first-hand acquaintance with Jesus Christ which puts to death the spirit of ambition. Ambition has murder at its heart; our Lord showed His disciples that ambition is impossible in the His kingdom, 'Except ye become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.' Our attitude is to be one of stedfast personal devotion to Jesus Christ, not 'measuring ourselves by ourselves, and comparing ourselves with ourselves.' Among the last words Mr. Reader Harris wrote was this phrase-"Don't imitate." That means far more than mere external imitation, it means in the deep spiritual sense what I am trying to bring before you now- don't try and do something for God because somebody else is doing it. Oh, the amount of instigation in God's work that comes along that line!


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