Promotion

 

Promotion is of the Lord – not of man. “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Psalm 75:6-7) This is a key to finding God’s perfect will for your life.  You must first understand that it is in His hands and not in man’s.

Human nature being what it is makes it easy for us to adopt the mindset of the world in regards to promotion. Our default position is to think that advancement comes through self-endorsement – but not so. The wise man gave some good advice in Proverbs 27:2 – “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” Jesus had to deal with this secular, self-promoting mindset in two consecutive chapters in the Book of Mark. “And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” (Mark 9:33-35) “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them…to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared…“ (Mark 10:35-40) Here, Jesus speaking in His human aspect and not as God – said that such a position is “not mine to give…” No human being can make the will of God come to pass nor keep the will of God from coming to pass in your life – that is, no human being but you. To illustrate this truth – it was the will of God that David should someday become the king of Israel. King Saul, in his rampant jealousy and hatred of David, did everything in his power to keep it from happening – but all to no avail. Why? Because promotion was not his to give or take away. Promotion doesn’t come from man – it comes from God alone.

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For…we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office…Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching…” (Romans 12:3-7) Paul said, “Let us wait on our ministering” How long? Until God opens the doors. That’s what Joshua did. He faithfully served His mentor and leader, Moses, until, in God’s time and by God’s hand, he was promoted with this promise, “As I was with Moses, so shall I be with you.” Elisha also waited for God’s timing. He faithfully ministered to Elijah until the day Elijah was carried in a chariot of fire to heaven. While God uses men, as he used Elijah, to prepare us to fulfill our calling – it is God Himself who is actually the author of our progress.

As you seek the will of God for your life remember this principle and it will serve you well. “A man’s gift maketh room for him…” (Proverbs 18:16) Humbly serve God where you are – and, in His time, He will open doors for you if it be His will. You won’t have to force them open yourself. How well I remember my senior year at ABI. I was a married man and had no idea what I was going to do when I graduated. Where would I go? What would I do? And then one day as I was leaving chapel service, Brother S.G. Norris pulled me into the faculty lounge and, with a sparkle in his eye, said, “Bob, I happen to know that Kinzie, over in Toledo, Ohio, is in need of an assistant pastor. I’ll be fishing with Kinzie in Florida in January – and, if you’ll be a good boy, I’ll mention your name to him.” In February I received an invitation to preach for Brother Kinzie the following month. Then in April I received a letter from Brother Kinzie asking me to come to Toledo. I became his first full-time assistant pastor. I looked to Brother Kinzie as my pastor from that time forward until his death a few years ago. He requested, before he died, that I would preach his funeral. What an honor! To have served under such a great man was not anything I could have ever orchestrated myself. This opportunity came from the Lord Himself through our beloved elder, S.G. Norris.

“These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door…” Wait on your ministry – faithfully serving God where you are. Then, if it be His will, in His time, He will open doors. So – while we, with our limited understanding, tend to think that the way up is to climb up ourselves – even over others, if necessary – the real way up is down. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10) Promotion is of the Lord!

Rev. Robert Stroup is the District Superintendent of the Indiana District, United Pentecostal Church International. He is Pastor of Pentecostals of South Lake in Merrillville, Indiana.

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