When Joshua took over the leadership of Israel God says something worthy of note: Joshua 3:7: And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.
Later in Joshua 4:14 we read that On that day [shortly thereafter], the Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel…
God’s method is not to magnify ourselves – to give resumes of our accomplishments and exalt ourselves to positions of authority. God raises the obedient and the humble.
In Genesis 11, we read about the people who built the tower of Babel. They were not interested in doing it God’s way. In verse 4, they say: “Go to, let us build us a city and a tower; whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered upon the face of the whole earth.” The Babel-tower builders wanted to make themselves a reputation. They wanted the world to take notice, to know they are something to be feared, something great. But God destroyed their attempts. It is not our business to build our reputation, it is God’s.
In Genesis 12, God calls Abram out of Ur. In verse 2, God tells Abram: “And I will make of thee a great nation , and I will bless thee and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing.”
From these examples, we learn that our reputation is in God’s hands. Our job is to be faithful, and to obey His commandments – to bring honor to His name – and in turn God will raise us up as He sees fit when He sees fit.
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge; he putteth down one and setteth up another. Ps 75:6,7
How faithful do we need to be?
1 Cor 10:31 tell us: “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” This applies to every aspect of our lives. We are to be obedient and faithful in all that we do, that God’s reputation may be upheld by our conduct.
Most people don’t realize that this is the agreement Christians have with God. We are to lift up God’s reputation by our lives of obedience and faithfulness, and in turn God blesses us and our efforts. Take Joseph for example, he obeyed God in all that He did, and in return God blessed everything he did, so that all of Potiphar’s household was taken care of by Joseph. In prison, the prison keeper also gave all things into Joseph’s hands, because God prospered Joseph in his faithfulness.
God was able to bless Daniel and his 3 friends with 10 times the wisdom of everyone else, because they were faithful. They purposed in their hearts to serve the Lord. Although they studied and did their part, God gave them more wisdom than they could ever have had on their own.
When we concentrate on being faithful to God, God can use us in ways we could never have imagined. The arrangement is “I will make your name, and you make mine.” How do we make His name great? By being obedient to God – doing things God’s way.
Romans 2:24 talks about the bad reputation the Jews were giving to God by their disobedience. God was blasphemed through the Jews. His reputation suffers when we disobey.
1 Cor 3:9 tells us: “For we are laborers together with God.” If we want good results in any area of our lives, we must work with God in the arrangement He has specified. As we guard God’s reputation through our faithful conduct, He will bless us and give us a good reputation before our peers and colleagues. Our focus should be not on us, and what others think of us, but on God and what others think of God because of us. The rest we can leave in God’s capable hands.