For reasons I don’t need to go into here, I have been mulling this last week on godly ambition, and the desire to make a difference in the world. For, of course, there is a dangerous counterfeit here. Wanting to change the world is one of the most predictable and worldly things we can do. Everybody wants a statue of himself in the town square, with future schoolchildren sweating to memorize his name.
As I have been working though Calvin’s Institutes, I have now come to the section where he painstakingly describes what the way of the cross does to every form of carnal ambition. Crosses crucify, and carnal ambition needs it in a bad way.
But crosses don’t crucify only. Following the Lord, the cross is the prerequisite to resurrection.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24).
We don’t become less in order to disappear. We are to become less to matter more.