Rejoice for the Right Reason
One day while praying and telling the Lord that my highest joy is in pleasing Him, the Holy Spirit surprised me by saying, "If your highest joy is in pleasing me, then you are just as happy when another's ministry is successful as when your own is."
I thought about that knowing I would soon be in a situation that would truly test that expression of my love. How would I feel when the more popular speaker received much greater attention than I?
I found, by His grace, that, yes, my joy was in successful ministry for Him-whether it was another's or mine. The rest and freedom I had were much superior to any rewards of personal ministry success.
Paul spoke of the joy that comes when we seek only God's glory. While in prison, he told the Philippians that some were preaching Christ out of selfish ambition. "But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice" (Philippians 1:17, 18).
Too little is made of the joy of full surrender.
The surrendered life is a life of rest, joy, and peace. But it comes only after an inward relinquishment to God's perfect will. Our selfish ambitions and desires to please ourselves must be offered to God as a sacrifice.
Dear Lord, may my highest joy be in pleasing You. If You are pleased with me and my attitude, that is enough.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).