DECEMBER 4, 2020
TOPIC: PURSUE GOD’S WILL FOR YOUR LIFE, NOT FAME
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then a new king came to the throne of Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done” (Exodus 1:8 New Living Translation).
Pursue the will of God for your life; don’t seek popularity. Popularity is temporary; it is fleeting. A popular person today will become unpopular tomorrow. The New Century Version says, “So fame and power are useless, like chasing the wind.”
Someone comes on the scene, whose popularity will outshine the person considered popular. Thereafter, another person will come after that person to upstage him, too. It is useless to live for fame. That’s the summary of Ecclesiastes 4:13-16.
The passage talks about a youth that came from prison to become a king. Verse 16 says, “He might become the leader of millions and be very popular. But then the next generation grows up and rejects him! So again, it is all meaningless, like chasing the wind” (New Living Translation).
Joseph, an Israelite, rose from prison to become the Prime Minister in Egypt. Through his wisdom, the entire known world then was saved from the destructive effect of famine as a result of his food storage programme, preceding the famine. He died at 110 years of age. Thereafter, another Pharaoh reigned.
Exodus 1:8 says, “Then a new king came to the throne of Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done” (New Living Translation). What! How could that be possible that a new king would not know anything about Joseph or what he had done? With all that Joseph did? The same Joseph that Pharaoh set over all the land of Egypt, put his own signet ring on his hand, clothed him in garments of fine linen, and put a gold chain around his neck!
The same Joseph that Pharaoh made to ride in his second chariot and people bow before! (Genesis 41:41-43). The same Joseph that Pharaoh honoured and said without Joseph’s consent no man might lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt! (Verse 44).
Pharaoh went ahead to give him, as a wife, Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On (verse 45). When all the land of Egypt was famished and the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, he told them, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do” (verse 55). This was the Joseph that a new king didn’t know.
If the king didn’t know him, how would the other Egyptians know him? The generation of Egyptians at that time did not know about a man that all countries came to in Egypt to buy grain, because of severe famine in all lands (verse 57). That shows the futility of pursuing fame rather than living to fulfill the purpose of God for one’s life. Thank God that Joseph didn’t do all he did in pursuit of fame. God used him to save the world from hunger.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (New King James Version). Pursue the thoughts of God for you, not fame.
It is the desire for fame that has kept many people away from giving their lives to Jesus Christ because they want to be accepted by the world. It is also one of the reasons that some people have backslidden. James 4:4 asks, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (New King James Version).
1 John 2:15-17 warns, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away , and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (New King James Version).
Do you love the LORD or love the world? Are you pursuing fame at the expense of doing the will of God? Are you looking for men’s acceptance instead of God’s approval? According to Charles Spurgeon, “Some have their portion in that which most men love—applause and fame; but ask thyself, is not thy God more to thee than that? What if a myriad clarions should be loud in thine applause, would this prepare thee to pass the Jordan, or cheer thee in prospect of judgment?”
Do nothing out of a desire for fame. Do everything in line with God’s will for you. That was how Jesus lived His life, and that’s how you should too. Jesus’ priority was doing the will of God (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44; John 6:38-39). Although on account of his ministry, his fame spread abroad, He wasn’t after popularity. Matthew 9:26 says the fame of Jesus’ miracle went abroad into all that land. Verse 31 adds that the two blind men he opened their eyes departed and spread abroad his fame in all that country.
In Matthew 14:1, the Bible says Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus or heard the report about Him. Furthermore, Mark 1:28 says His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee. The book of Luke also talks about His fame. After His temptation in the wilderness, Luke 4:14 says Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and His fame or the news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.
However, fame was never Jesus’ goal. His goal was to do the will of God. “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work’” (John 4:34 New King James Version). He rejected kingship because that was not His mission on earth (John 6:15). Fame wasn’t Joshua’s goal either but Joshua 6:27 says the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout all the country. Joshua’s fame spread because he pursued the will of God for him.
Because of the exceeding wisdom that God gave Solomon, he became famous all over the world. 2 Chronicles 9:1 says when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test Solomon with hard questions. Her conclusion was that Solomon exceeded the fame of which she had heard (2 Chronicles 9:6b). But Solomon’s goal was not fame. Fame was just incidental.
Earlier in 1 Chronicles 14:17, the Bible said that the fame of David, Solomon’s father, went out into all lands, and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations. Again fame was not his goal. David says in Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (New King James Version).
Media exposure could be intoxicating and tempting. Beware of the seduction of the media, especially the new media. Don’t be more interested in achieving huge online followership instead of following the will of God for your life. Cherish God’s attention above media attention. Value God’s verdict on your life over the public endorsement.
Some ministers of God have been infected by this virus of seeking fame. They are always in the media giving one prophecy or the other on elections or politics generally, which, most times, don’t come to pass but attract public attention to them and give them publicity. This makes them feel relevant but they’ve become an irritant to the people, especially as they often give conflicting prophcies.
If you are a minister of the gospel, face your call; don’t seek popularity or fame. Don’t compete with politicians and celebrities for fame. Jeremiah, Isaiah, Jesus, and others in the Bible were not only sure of their call, ministry, or assignment, they pursued it; they devoted their lives to it.
Jesus says in Luke 4:43, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent” (New King James Version). Mark 1:38 records a similar statement. Preaching the gospel is your assignment, not seeking to be popular. Being popular is not the same as being powerful.
You should seek to fulfill your ministry or assignment just as Paul charged Timothy to do: “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5 New King James Version). And to Archippus, a fellow soldier of Christ, Paul sent this word: “And say to Archippus, ‘Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it’” (Colossians 4:17 New King James Version).
Seeking fame is pursuing the wrong cause. It is a waste of destiny. Are you projecting yourself or Christ? Focus on what really matters. You are not the message; Christ is. Don’t minor in the major and major in the minor. A minister of the gospel doesn’t need men’s applause; he needs God’s approval. “But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus — the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love” (Acts 20:24 New Living Translation).
Be determined to do God’s will. Pursue God’s will even if it makes you unpopular or unknown. If fame comes as a result of doing God’s will, don’t make it your focus. Don’t let it go to your head.
Doing God’s will have invaluable benefits. God is ready to hear those who worship Him and do His will (John 9:31). Only those who do the will of God shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 7:21). Let God’s will be done in your life (Matthew 6:10). Those who live to fulfil the purpose of God for their lives will be fulfilled even if they are unknown. Seek to do the will of God, not to be popular.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to do God’s will for my life and not pursue fame. Father, let the thoughts that You think toward me come to pass; let the future and the hope you have for me become a reality.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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