Church, Mobilizing, Questions

“Horizontal Babel” Being Set Free From the Approval of Man

Mercy and grace I can suffer from a whole lotta “Look at me!”

faceSometime the desire for mankind to notice me can really be overwhelming. I want more likes on a picture, more people to read my blog, or have me come speak or teach. Who is or isn’t inviting me where and with whom. Who’s in my contacts that rank up there with “important” or popular? How can I create a platform and call it “influence” when really, if I’m super duper honest, it’s just “indulgence”. Indulgences in things that make me feel good about myself. Make me look good. Make me rise in popularity.

To what end?

I mean, really? When I think about myself in another 42 years, will it have mattered that so many people liked a picture?

I get it. Believe me, I get it.

We all have a calling.
There’s nothing wrong with people reading really great stuff.
We should be sharing with one another and encouraging one another.

But…..

If in my heart I’m trying to build a horizontal Babylon, trying to reach and stretch out as far as I can for my own likes and follows and atta-girls, then I am in deep doo-doo. Just for a little Biblical refresher course, let’s take a look-see at the story of the Tower of Babel in the NLT.

*clears throat*

Chapter 11 of Genesis. “At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words… (They said) ‘Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the word.”

Um, I wouldn’t do that.

“But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. ‘Look!’ he said. ‘The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.’

In that way, the LORD scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the LORD confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.”

You see, anytime we try to take glory for ourselves, we come up short. And in their case, they got what they were trying so hard to not let happen. They were scattered “all over the world.” And they couldn’t even understand each other, hence, languages.

God is not in the business of sharing glory.

How many of us actually set out to be famous?
How many of us do it in the name of a calling?
How many of us do not allow the Holy Spirit to do a deep check of motives and then go the distance to repent of anything that would try to build itself higher or wider than Him?

How many of us use His great Name

for our great fame?

God forbid we focus more on our reach of name and popularity than the fame and magnificence of God.

If what I do has nothing to do with the advancement of the Gospel of Christ, or if I say it does, but my real, deep down, didn’t-even-know-it-was-there motive is my own vanity and pride, then I better ditch it.

If what I do, whether it be an Instagram post, a blog post, a Facebook post, something I take on at church or in the community, the people I want to do life with, if any of those things are to prop myself up, make myself look good, make me feel better about myself, or extend my name, then it better not happen.

I believe (only because I know my own motives have been this) that many of us in the Church desire platform and fame and then like to wrap that in a blanket of false humility and call it a “calling from God.”

Nowhere in the Word do I see any charge to get as many people as possible to read anything you write, listen to anything you say (unless it’s the Gospel message), or like anything you post (I know, they didn’t have Instagram when the Bible was written).

What I DO see is a mandate:

“Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

This should be our hearts measuring stick. This should be where we weigh our motives. This should be where our questions come from. “Am what I am writing, doing, posting fulfilling that mandate?”

Okay, okay don’t get crazy on me. I, just like you, like to post my kids, funny stuff, places I am, people I’m with, great finds I get at Goodwill, but I’m talking about the deep stuff of your life. I’m talking about your everyday decisions in what you think is valuable and how you want your life to matter.

We are talking about what we lift high, what we want people to see and notice.

Does it advance the name of Jesus more than your own? Does it point to the magnificence of God? Does it help to advance the gospel of Jesus? Does it turn the eyes of those around you to Him?

The thing you’re made to do….does it use flailing arms and wild motions to point the eyes of those you watch away from you and to Him?

If it does, amazing. Keep it up and post funny stuff and pictures of your kids and friends too. If it doesn’t, take a moment with Jesus and humbly have a conversation about it. He is kind and compassionate and wants to use you for His great name. Your horizontal Babylon will end up a lonely city and your name, though possibly lit up in lights for a moment, will flicker out before your grave is covered. Live for The Light that never fades and the glory that never ends.

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