One day as I was worshipping, I heard the Lord whisper one word: ‘impressed’. In that moment, God conveyed a life-time of attitudes. In that one word, God convicted me of something rooted deep within that had to change immediately.
From early on in my Christian walk, I had a strong sense of the call of God on my life. I received several significant prophecies that confirmed that The Lord wanted to use me. I was hungry for ministry. But wrapped up in that yearning to lead was a desire for prominence. Every word that alluded to fame or success excited me. There is no doubt that I was desperate to please God but I also lavished the thought of the limelight.
When God said ‘impressed’ to me, I instantly understood. I was impressed by mighty ministries, I was impressed by jumped-up job titles, I was impressed by important people, I was impressed by big congregations, I was impressed by powerful anointings. I was even impressed by the call of God on my own life.
As I fell to my knees, I wept and repented. Romans 12:16 says,”Do not set your your mind on high things but associate with the humble”. My mind was focused on high things. I needed a system re-set.
Scripture instructs us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought but instead to be sober-minded. I thought that my gifts and call made me a bit more important than other people. How wrong I was.
Being impressed can be dangerous. It can cause us to focus on the the wrong things. We should not put people or positions on pedestals. It is important to honour leaders but only Jesus deserves adoration. If we treat ministers like stars, we can make it hard for them to walk in humility.
Star or servant?
Because I saw well-known preachers like celebrities, I thought that if I made it in ministry, I would become a star too. Minister means servant and that is my calling. While I was dazzled by God’s plans for my life, I was not ready to fulfil them. Once they no longer amazed me but instead just provoked gratitude and love, I was in the right place.
Hezekiah was one of Israel’s best kings. He loved The Lord, served Him with all his might and did what was right in His sight. At the same time, he had a weakness. Towards the end of his reign, he received a very special visitor. Remember, Israel was a tiny nation so when the son of the Babylonian king came to visit him, he was blown away.
The Bible says that he was very attentive to the royal party. Perhaps he was thinking, “Wow, one of the most powerful people in the world has come to see me… I must make a good impression!”
You see when we are impressed, we often want to make a good impression in return. We want people to think well of us. We become preoccupied with the opinions of people. It is not just an Old Testament problem. Why do we name drop? Perhaps it is because we are enamoured when we meet someone special and we think it may dazzle others too.
King Hezekiah decided to show off his nation’s vast array of treasures to his highly esteemed guests. Surely they would be amazed that his country had such an exquisite collection gold, silver & armoury. After the royal party left, God sent Isaiah to confront Hezekiah about what he had done. His desire to show off cost Israel everything.
A better way
When Mary the mother of Jesus was told about her history-making destiny, she harboured the prophecy in her heart. She was in awe of God and humbled by His choice. What an example.
When we hear about the good things that God wants to do in us and through us, let us remember Mary. When we are picked for promotion or singled out because of our success, let us give God all the honour and thank Him for His favour.
If you want to be free from inner issues that hold you back so that you can fulfil your purpose, I encourage you to order my books: 30 Day Detox for your Soul from Amazon. There are several days dedicated to cleansing us within. Also, come to Healed for Life, our transformational event that helps get you ready for your destiny. See jonaughton.com for details