“Woohoo! Look at me!!!” – ever want to say that? Sometimes, when feeling particularly accomplished, I wish others could see what I see – and tell me how awesome I am. Sometimes it happens; sometimes it doesn’t. (Hey, just being real here!)
“Wow, you are awesome!” would be a great reward… or would it? Truth is, public acclamation is like the chocolate of rewards. Doesn’t last. Gives you a quick high, some strength to keep going, but wouldn’t work as your only food source.
So what kind of reward fuels you for the long haul, and lasts forever? There is something called a prophet’s reward in the Bible. It says that when you actively embrace a messenger of God (a prophet – someone sold out to promoting God’s agenda only), you get the same reward he or she gets. (Matthew chapter 10 toward the end, if you want to check it out).
What does that mean? Well, when you recognize that God is transforming the lives of people (you cannot change the world without changing lives) through a specific person, you are recognizing God.
And recognizing God is a big deal.
It means that often the most significant work we do is unseen. It means if I bless a prophet (no matter where they are in chain of command) to help them achieve their potential to change the world, I will be blessed every time.
It also means that when others invest in my life, and recognize God’s hand on what I do, they too will be blessed. I’ve seen it again and again.
Is public acclamation bad? Of course not! It gives you a great platform, is sweet and – a lesson I learned long ago – a crowd draws a crowd. I want that platform. Anyone who has anything worth saying should want it. But it cannot be your identity. If you base your ministry identity on being more and more attractive to more and more people, you will lose yourself.
And that is no reward at all.
It’s so opposite to what we humans believe. To us, public acclamation alone is success – turns out it is chocolate, and can melt as quickly.
Recognizing God in the lives of those that are truly devoted to doing his work – and helping them be strong – will keep you strong for a lifetime. Now that is the reward I want!
Father, please help us be peaceful enough today to recognize you at work through others, and to bless you by blessing them.