“I warned the proud to cease their arrogance! I told the wicked to lower their insolent gaze… For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God. He promotes one and deposes another.” (Psalm 75:4, 6-7 LB)
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” goes the old maxim. Even the most superficial study of the Egyptian pharaohs, Roman emperors, British kings or even Catholic popes shows the truth of this statement. It is simply in the heart of man to be ambitious and, once his ambitions have been rewarded with a position of authority, for that position to corrupt him.
This is even true—albeit to a much lesser extent—within the evangelical Church hierarchy. Unquestionably, there are many fine men and women in positions of Christian leadership. But by and large the evangelical system is built upon ambition and talent. Those in the forefront are often those who want to be in that position and have the charisma and abilities to take them there. While such people tend to float to the top, there are many very humble and godly ministers who are relegated to less prominent positions.
While Christians are part of this tangible Church structure, there is another structure that is hidden to our eyes. It is God’s kingdom on earth. In that organization, authority is meted out perfectly to those who truly deserve it. “[God’s] throne is founded on two strong pillars—the one is Justice and the other Righteousness. Mercy and Truth walk before you as your attendants.” (Psalm 89:14 LB) Yes, every aspect of a person’s character—down to the nth degree—is taken into account by God. He sees it all plainly and clearly. With great precision He understands a person’s spiritual makeup.
There are many men and women of God who will never receive recognition during their stay on earth, but they are clearly seen for what they are in that unseen realm. In that parallel world, they are loved and respected in heaven and feared in hell.
It is true that the Lord allows unworthy men to take for themselves positions of outward honor in the Church. But it will not be that way in heaven. Every believer will be seen for exactly who he truly is. In that fair land, there will be no human ambition, no devilish pride and no unjust appointments. It will be ruled perfectly by a God whose very throne is supported by Justice and Righteousness.
And how about you? What is the reality of your life in God? Do you attempt to present yourself as being further along than you actually are? Do you ever strive for the “chief seat?” Or are you content to be recognized by God alone?