Has your promotion come? by Grant Marshall
Consider these passages:
Exodus 4:10 Moshe said to Adonai, “Oh, Adonai, I’m a terrible speaker. I always have been, and I’m no better now, even after you’ve spoken to your servant! My words come slowly, my tongue moves slowly.” 11 Adonai answered him, “Who gives a person a mouth? Who makes a person dumb or deaf, keen-sighted or blind? Isn’t it I, Adonai?
Concerning David : Psalm 139
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.
Jeremiah 1:4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. 9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
Who are Moses, David and Jeremiah to be chosen by God? Indeed, who is anyone, that they should be chosen for anything concerning the works of God? If God chose these men, seemingly without qualification, then why should he not choose you or me?
Are the days gone when God chooses such giants of the faith? We could even ask, why indeed did God choose Abraham for his purpose? Though we do not see the question arise from the man personally, we do see, however, that Abraham still had doubts now again.
What is clear in the accounts found within the text, is that we see that God chose the men because He knew them better than they knew themselves. Should we therefore have confidence in ourselves? The answer is that we should have confidence and faith in God to work through us. He has given us every spiritual blessing and the strength in Christ to achieve His goals. We must consider ourselves as God’s humble servants, not his advisor.
Isaiah 45:9 “Woe (judgment is coming) to him who quarrels with his Maker— A [worthless] piece of broken pottery among other broken pieces [equally worthless]! Shall the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or does the thing say, ‘He has no hands’?
For the sake of time and the purpose of this article, I keep this introduction brief. I want you to realise that we must cease looking at ourselves and our qualifications and abilities if we are to yield to the potter’s hand. We need to realise that God puts His faith in us too. He has jobs for all of us to do, but the problem is that many aren't coming forward to take them because they see themselves as less qualified than someone else, and in truth are not moving forward in maturity.
How you may ask? Do you not know that faith comes from Him and it is a gift in us and is used powerfully and purposely when we pursue the mind of Christ? What is the mind of Christ? It is what brings us into union with Him and His will.
We are living in a new age of parables, and so I want to share with you two more, that the Lord has laid upon my heart.
Two Men — One Job.
It was time to give a promotion, thought the CEO of a very successful company. The boss was creating a new role in senior management. One man had already applied for the role; he had worked hard for the company for many years, and had in turn, received much of the perks of being in a high position. The CEO was pleased with all that he had done. There was also George. This man had been with the company since the beginning, but George never went forward in applying for the various promotions that had been spoken of amongst his colleagues or that he found posted in the local job vacancies.
One day the CEO went to see George and asked him to come to his office. Later that day George found himself sitting opposite the man who had given him his job all those years ago.
The CEO was intrigued. “George, I am in a quandary. Why have you never applied for any of the promotions that have been posted over the years?”
George answered, “Sir, I’m not a learned man. I never went to university or attained a degree. I’ve never had the time to gain qualifications, because I’ve always had to work and provide for my family and besides that I like to work with my hands. When I read the requirements for the jobs, I realise that I simply don’t have the necessary qualifications that are asked for. So I don’t apply. It is as simple as that."
The CEO replied, “My friend, you have been with me longer than any of the senior managers. You were at this company when we were small, but now we are a large successful and respectful business. Even when times were hard and work was slow, you remained when you could have gone off and found work elsewhere.
You know more about what we do and every process involved, even more than those who you see sitting in their suits and offices.
I have been watching you and I know that the promotion which I am offering you can only be filled by your shoes. Of course, there is one other applicant who has all the qualifications specified for the job.”
“I believe, that all your hard work and dedicated service is about to bring you recognition and reward. I can give this job to the other applicant, but I want to make a better choice.”
I want you to seriously consider the role. I will hold back the interview with the other applicant until you let me know your choice. By all means, discuss my offer with your wife over the weekend and let me know first thing Monday morning.
I wonder whether George took the job.
In another parable, there was a master of a very wealthy and noble estate. ‘I need a new righthand man’, he thought. Alfred had been a faithful assistant but was now about to retire. The estate had a great reputation for its gardens, but modern times need new ideas and some of the roles in the house had to be changed.
The master would spend many hours walking the grounds with his dogs and had great pride in showing the gardens off to visitors. His idea was to bring in more revenue and to develop the house and grounds so that the public could visit the beautiful gardens too.
Whilst walking in the gardens, near the great glass house, the master came across Angus who was sitting in the shade and eating his lunchtime sandwich over a book in which he seemed enthralled. The pages were curled and discoloured with corners turned by muddy fingers.
“Afternoon Angus”. said the master. Angus was caught by surprise and didn’t know whether to stand or to stay seated.
“Afternoon sir”. Angus thought whether he should offer the master a cup of tea, and politely did so. To his surprise, the master accepted a chipped enamel cup filled with some piping hot tea from Angus’s flask”. The gardener’s muddied hands offered up the cup.
“Angus, the gardens are looking spectacular. They look more so every year. You do know an amazing job, and all the visitors find great delight in what they see too.
“Thank you sir”, came Angus’s reply.
“Angus, old Alfred is retiring and I have been considering for some time the changes I want to bring to the future of the house and the estate.
"What are you reading, by the way? asked the master.”
Angus replied, “It is an old book written by a very famous landscape gardener who created some of the most beautiful gardens in England. The grand houses commissioned her. I read her ideas and I have tried to implement them in your gardens.”
The master was impressed. “I have noticed how you are here most days, even over the weekend. Does your wife not mind?”
“Oh no sir, I have to work like this. Some of the plants are very delicate. They need constant attention, just like your horses, sir”.
The master smiled. “ Angus, your hard work has not gone unnoticed. I want to make you an offer. I want you to continue creating these beautiful gardens and I want you to treat them as your own. But I need you to do more than that. I want you to be my right-hand man. The job will demand that you work closely with me in managing the house grounds.”
“As you know, I am preparing one of the fields for landscaping and a new garden. I am also renovating the gamekeeper’s lodge and I want you and your wife to live on-site. In addition, you will be able to use the vehicles, attend important functions with me and receive a good income. Some people think that as a matter of course this job should go to someone nearer to me in the house.
My mind is made up Angus, and the job is yours if you want it. Please consider the position my friend and prove to me that I have chosen wisely.”
Friends, we have read in these two parables that it is not the most likely or the most highly qualified person that always gets the promotion. It may seem that way because it is the tradition of the world. But in God’s estate, His work and promotion are given to the one He knows. Those who draw near to Him and revere Him will receive their just rewards. These rewards will be beyond what they can ever hope for or imagine.
We need to remember, that worldly qualification allows you to gain reputation and advancement under your own abilities. When we are called to do God’s work, we must realise that He anoints those He chooses with a peculiar grace. This is when we can achieve much because we have been given our strength in Christ.
If we serve our Master with diligence and humility, He promises us rich rewards. Of course, we do not do our work for the reward but to bring reputation and glory to our God.
It is a good thing to feel inadequate and weak and to declare how we truly feel before Him. But as we have found out, our Father has known us since before we were put into our mother’s womb. He has a plan and a purpose for us, whether we are aware of it or not. Do not work hard to gain promotion but do it to be noticed.
There is truth, it would seem, in the saying, ‘It is not what you know, but who you know’.