You're climbing a mountain. What's at the top?

by Aug 24, 2016

You're climbing a mountain. What's at the top?

by Aug 24, 2016

All of us have ambitions in life. To get married and have some kids. To get a good job and have a nice house. To visit Machu Picchu before you die.

Good ambitions, all of them. But isn’t there something bigger you want out of life? Isn’t there a misty mountaintop off in the distance that you’re climbing toward? Some life ambition that you want to pursue?

Paul had a huge mountain to climb. Check it out:

I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (Romans 15:20-21)

His life ambition is to find people who’ve never heard of Jesus before, and bless them with the gospel. It’s a unique ambition that doesn’t apply to everyone, but there are some principles we can draw about the kinds of mountains we should be climbing.

1. Your ambition should be about Jesus.
Paul says, “I make it my ambition to preach the gospel.” The gospel of Jesus. If you’ve been saved by Jesus, then it’s natural: you want to make his name known so others can be saved as well. You’re a beggar who’s stumbled upon a five-star chef slipping his best dishes out the back door every night. You can’t help but to share what you’ve found with others. Your ambition should be about Jesus, not yourself.

2. Your ambition should be about other people.
Paul says I want to preach the gospel, “not where Christ has already been named.” Now, that’s not everybody’s ambition. You don’t need to be a missionary to some unreached people group in the Amazon rain forest. But what Paul’s really saying is that he doesn’t want to preach the gospel just to preach it. He wants to bless people who haven’t been blessed yet. Your ambition should be about blessing other people, not yourself.

3. Your ambition should be from Scripture.
You should be able to support your ambition with God’s word. As Paul explains his ambition, he’s quoting Isaiah 52:15: “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” At some point in his life, Paul must have read that verse, and said to himself, “That’s what I want to do! That’s my life verse!” Not everyone needs to have a single life verse, but whatever your main ambition in life is, it should be drawn from God’s wisdom, not your own.

When you can see the top of the mountain, it motivates you to keep climbing no matter what obstacles you encounter. When you have a clearly-defined, scriptural, Christ-centered ambition in life, it will carry you through the toughest times.

Paul made it through lynchings, stonings, false accusations and trumped-up trials, two shipwrecks, and even a viper bite on his way to preach Jesus to people who never heard of him. And historians tell us that he fulfilled his ambition: he preached the gospel in the land that was considered to be the “end of the earth”: Spain.

What’s at the top of your mountain?