by Brandon Hiltibidal
I have three little girls, and you wouldn’t believe the number of plays and concerts that happen at my house. There are near-nightly performances because my sweet girls naturally desire recognition. But they, like all of us, also naturally desire the MOST recognition and the authority that will help them get it. I don’t think it will surprise you to learn than many performances in my house have fallen apart because someone decides they don’t like their role and they need to be exalted. One time a dance routine in the living room devolved into chaos because one of my girls starting sobbing that she wanted “to be the mermaid, because the mermaid is best.”
That is how we work as well. Men, the heart we are born with wants to be the mermaid. We are willing to fight to be the mermaid. But, guess what? You can’t be the mermaid. You can’t be the best. You can’t be the most powerful. It is false dream. We can chase power, but we can never really have it. We can pursue influence, but it’s a facade, because we are broken, temporary people.
Look at what the Bible says about the power we crave?
Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is a stream in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever he will.”
Men, there is a sovereign God. Power doesn’t mean what we think it means. It is only borrowed.
And we read in Ecclesiastes 4:15-16, “I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that youth who was to become king. There was no end of all the people he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.”
Not only is power only borrowed, but it can’t last.
And James 4:14 says, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
It is so easy for us to chase influence in our little circles of life, but we are but a vapor. We can and will be gone in a moment. What power is there for us?
If we decide power is what will give us life, we will only lose our life, because that is a desire than can never be satisfied. We are weak, not strong. We are vapors, not victors. To follow our hearts in the pursuit of power is to crush our hearts seeking what we cannot find.
That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 16, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
We can’t have power or recognition or any of the other desires of our hearts by seeking them. Those desires are impossible to satisfy. But Jesus does satisfy. Jesus give “life and life in abundance.” The joy of Jesus is the only pursuit we can give ourselves to that doesn’t end in disappointment. And you know how it does end?
2 Timothy 2:12 says, “If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him…”
We will reign with Jesus. That sounds better than being the mermaid.