Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Temptation of Titles

Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”" -Exodus 3:13-14
Today, I'd like to share an interesting thought with you. In the verse above, Moses was asking about credibility with his question. "They'll be looking for credibility God; what shall I tell them?" I AM. That is an amazingly profound, yet simple and humble title for the Creator of the universe.

Think about Jesus too. He rebuked unclean spirits which tried to announce and proclaim His deity while He was ministering. Even His birth happened in relative obscurity. While contemplating these things, I am learning an important lesson; Titles are a "people thing," not a "God thing." The Lord gives no value to titles.

The temptation for us is to strive for titles and then wield them for our own use in various ways; to acquire accreditations to please people; dare I say it, even to exalt ourselves. At times, that is even true within churches and ministry organizations where titles and positions are coveted. With Jesus as our example for living, I've had to learn the hard lesson that titles are tempting in the world, but irrelevant to God. Jesus says those who want to be the greatest in the Kingdom ought to be the greatest servants. We should be "known" by our fruit.

In the business world, titles, positions, education levels, accreditations, and certifications seem to be thrown around like socks. In fact, most of the time it feels like a necessity to flash them to get "in" with people, or to get where we want to go. Don't get me wrong; education is valuable and positions with powerful titles are a reality in our world. However, none of these things make us a "somebody." God would say, "You've always been a somebody. Even before you were born and I was knitting you together in your mother's womb you were a somebody. I qualify you. I am not a respecter of persons. I show Myself strong through you. Wisdom is known by her children."

When I asked God recently about what I thought were His many titles, e.g. Prince of Peace, Counselor, Healer, Sovereign Lord, etc., He said, "No. Those describe My character." Wow, Father, teach me to see others through Your eyes, and to put on the tremendously humble spirit that You have! Make me more like You!

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