“Expect great things and attempt great things” is a well-known saying. No doubt, successful men are often marked by their ability to think high and dream big. They will never be satisfied, nor stay quiet till they achieve the desired goal. We too must aim the best and strive to reach the highest level in every area of life. Without such an attitude one may not progress and excel in their activities.
Nevertheless, we should not be ignorant of the other side of such ‘high-dream’ and ‘expectations’. Our ambitions and pursuits in life must be under control. In other words, even as we strive to reach the uppermost level in life, we should be willing to abide by the stage where God allows us to be.
We should not forget that God does have a plan for each one of us. Our uttermost aim in life should be to know the Lord’s perfect will for us and fulfil it. Our expectations against God’s plan will only lead us to a disturbed state of life. Even as the word of God appreciates the godly desires of His people, warns against the possible evil desires too.
God will definitely fulfil the desires of the saints. Psa 145: 16, 19. In fact God will never force us to His way. He wants us to willingly and whole heartedly love God’s will in our life and follow it. Isaiah 1: 19; Matthew 23:37.
But ever since sin entered, it marred the thoughts, desire and ambitions of man. He began to desire against God’s will. The evil desires and vain passions of man brought untold miseries for him. To fulfil his sinful desires and selfish-ambitions he had to disobey and rebel against God. Man became more haughty, arrogant and proud. This open rebellion brought him under the wrath of God. We see such stories that reflect the evil effect of uncontrolled passions of man through out the word of God.
Desire to appear better even surpassing the Creator; reach the highest level even above the heavens, having the best provisions and positions etc control the normal man and believers must be aware of the danger of the worldly desires and evil passions.
Temporarily God may allow us to move forward in our efforts to fulfil our selfish ambitions but He will not bless it. Then, we can not prosper in such hard works that are simply to satisfy our own ego. The effort to make huge tower after the flood was not successful. The complaining and weeping of Israelites for meat was dealt with seriously. The effort of Absalom to grab power could not succeed beyond a limit. The Lord rebuked James and John who wanted a special position. Examples are plenty. Cf. Gen 11:4; Num 11 4 - 6 2Sam 15: 1 – 4; Mark 10: 37. 38.
Let us pay close attention to the warnings given in the word of God.
“Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.” Pro 27:20
“The cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” Mark 4: 19
“Those who desire to be rich fall in to temptation, in to a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people in to ruin and destruction.” 1Tim 6:9
“For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and desires of the eyes and pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1John 2:16
Such scripture portions must warn every Christian believer to think soberly and lead a content life. Control our ambitions in the light of God’s word. Any desire, however legitimate and needy it may look like, if it’s not God’s will for us, better not to have it. Self-ambitions for power, position and possessions are defiantly against God’s will. Any pursuit for those things will lead us only to dissatisfaction, unhappiness and even depression.
Even the secular studies have proved it. Two years ago Professor Timothy Judge studied over 700 individuals observing around 70 years of their life. He concluded that highly ambitious men do achieve but they are not happy and do not enjoy life as others. Further, they don’t live long as others. According to him, such people never rest as they strive for more and more success in the life.
That’s exactly what the scripture says, “An arrogant man is never at rest. His greed is as wide as sheol; like death he has never enough. He gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples” Habakkuk 2:5
The greedy is restless and arrogant. He will never yield to any man. He wants to control others. He wants everybody and everything under him. He will never live at home (Ref. KJV), always after accumulating more and more.
Let us stop living for the lust of men as in the past, live for God’s will. There is joy and satisfaction, even eternal value for life. Cf. 1Peter 4:2; Eph 2:3. As Paul says, let us be content in whatever state where we are. Phil 4: 11. Our Lord knows the best for us, and He is able to provide all our needs.
Let us confidently say with Paul, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13. Remember thins ‘all things’ include the ability to live low and abide by God’s will even when there is scarcity in life.