THE GOSPEL IS THE FIRST GOAL
By Jada Edwards
If you are a fan of crime drama, you may have noticed that before the question of “who did it?” can be answered; the question of “who would want to do it?” is explored. Motive is the thing that determines who will be eliminated or considered as a suspect. Investigators will spend more time trying to figure out who had motive, because the right motivation can make the most unsuspecting, unlikely person do unexplainable things.
It is important to explore your motivation because motivation inspires you, and the thing that inspires you is usually the thing that you aspire to. Ambition connects where you are today to where you know God wants you to be.
A strong motivation to succeed or a strong motivation for safety can be equally troublesome. Eve was motivated by a passion for success that sent her down a path that was based on a self-centered motive. She was an Initiative taker, a go getter, and she was going to be successful in knowing what that tree was all about. When you have a strong motivation to succeed, it’s really easy for you or others to know when you’ve gone wrong, because you put yourself out there.
The other less obvious struggle is a strong motivation for safety. Eve acted on passion, but was ignorant. Adam had the Word, but chose to be passive. He didn’t commit the offense, but he was not committed to doing the right thing. If you have the truth of God and you are staying stuck, what good is it? If your motivation is right, it will change everything. Passion or passivity can separate you from what God has for you.
Paul’s ambition is clear; it is to preach the gospel (Romans 15:20) and the church in Rome is the evidence of Paul’s ambition. In Romans 15 Paul gives a personal note of commendation and a bold reminder. He notes that the Romans are doing well, but can do better because anyone who has a holy ambition does not settle for average. Paul celebrates their growth, yet still challenges them to do more. He was satisfied, but not settled, so he went beyond gently encouraging them to boldly reminding them, because when you are doing the thing God has called you to do, excellence is the only option.
In Romans 15:15, Paul reminds us that he can give us these bold reminders because of the grace given to him by Christ Jesus. It’s a reminder that we need to have a call from God first in order to walk boldly in ambition. Before we could walk out the calling, we had to make a choice to commit to Christ. Salvation is the starting point. If you haven’t committed to Christ, you won’t know the call of Christ.
The Holy Spirit will guide you. You will receive grace, not just grace for salvation, but sustaining and equipping grace – you need saving grace as well as sufficient grace if you are going to live out the thing God has called you to do!
1 Peter 2:4-5, 9 – We are all ministers of the gospel. Once you receive the message of the gospel the first mission of your holy ambition is to release the gospel in the way God has designed you to do it. The gospel is the foundation of our ambition. If the gospel is the goal, the world can be changed.