What do we expect when we go on with God, when we come right out for God? What have we in view? Well, the answer to that question will decide whether, in relation to God, we have ambitions for something on the earth. Do you get the point? You see, it is so possible to swing over your natural ambitions to spiritual aims. It is the same thing still at work, and the only difference is the direction or sphere. You can be as ambitious in the work of God as you can be in the world, and it is the same natural ambition. It is the ambitiousness of nature.
You desire. What do you desire? To see something, to have something, to be in something? Ambition for success… yes, once it was in the world now the same ambition transferred to other things.
You see, it is very often to the children – the kindergarten – the elementary stages of faith, where there is not the capacity to take very much strain, that God has to give quick results and manifest signs. The marks of maturity are equally the withdrawing of outward manifestations and signs – the demand to walk with God alone for God’s own sake. It is a mark of graduation in the school of God that He can withdraw outward things. It shows that we have passed the test as to whether we are ambitious in this life.
It is a mark of going on when we can come to the place where it is true before God that we have let go all the prosperity and success even of Christian work and Christian ministry (as men would count). It is a sure sign of growth to be able to let go the great opportunities and the great advantages that may be had amongst Christian people… and the prizes that can be grasped… and to say: ‘It is all right, the Lord knows; it is for Him to give or withhold. I am not going to make a line for those prizes. I am not going to allow those things to influence my walk with God. Ambition is not going to dictate my course.’
The way of Life demands that we shall get before the Lord and say, “Lord, though all my earthly prospects fade, though all my ambitions are disappointed, it is You I want. You are my ambition – my goal. If I have You, these other things will count for much less.” But let us remember that His desire is to have us for Himself for His own sake; and as we fall into line, Life is found there. It is the way of Life. The law of Life demands that everything should be for the Lord.