Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Who Are You Trusting To Promote You?

Last week this question became real for me. And it happened right after I wrote the draft for this post! 

Courtesy of Faithwalk Photography
As I finished scheduling this post,  I remembered one of my guest posts for a different blog had gone live that morning. With anticipation pulsing through my veins, I jumped on this blog's page. I held my breath. Lo and behold, there it was. My eyes swiftly dropped from the title line to the share and like status. My heart plummeted. 16 likes; 0 shares. I felt deflated. Maybe they are having low traffic today. Hesitantly, I scrolled down the page. As other articles came into view, I winced at the high likes and shares they each. As I continued scrolling panic set in. What was wrong with my article? Maybe I should have chosen a different topic. Maybe I needed classes on crafting eye-catching titles. Maybe I didn't relate enough to the audience. My mind still storming, I escaped to the backroom to indulge in my favorite brainstorming activity: laundry. Attacking the pile of towels and washcloths, I schemed how I could remedy my malady of low likes. Then God spoke. Kenzi, who are you trusting to promote you? Is this up to you or Me?  My hands paused in mid fold. Remember, this all happen the same day I wrote the post you are about to read. Had I forgotten already? Or had this psalm even made it to my heart?

As you read on, I hope you don't make the same mistake I did. My trust in God's word wavered almost as soon as I finished reading it. If we are going to work unto the Lord, we don't need the latest marketing strategy. We need His word transforming our minds and actions. We need to trust Him so much it changes us.

Now let's study Psalm 75.

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah. (Psalm 75:1-3)

The psalmist appropriately opens this passage with thanksgiving. I don't know about you, but when I start fretting about getting “my name out there”, thankfulness is often the last thing on my mind. Instead of thanking God for the readers I have, I'm scheming how to recruit more. Rather than feel grateful for the couple of hours God has given me each day to craft my writing, I try to steal more time from other important priorities. 

What about you? Maybe your not a writer, but do you give thanks or grumble about the work God has given you?

I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. (verse 4-5)

You want to know the quickest way to being fool in your work? Raise a horn to your lips and bellow about how great your product, skill or service is. The old timers had biblical backing when they warned not to “toot your own horn”. Even secular advisers will tell you pride is the fastest way to ruin your business. Yet screaming louder than the last man is so common in our commercial society. There is a place for describing why your product is different, but may we never fall into the trap of running others down or boasting of our greatness. If your work really shines, people will see the glow without you pointing it in their eyes.

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. (verse 6-7)

The Word is clear. Promotion doesn't come from fancy websites, mega email lists or having connections. These things can be a blessing, but we shouldn't trust in them. If we are serving God with all our might, working as unto Him; then He will promote us. In the right way at the right time. I've not been around long, but even in my short time, I've seen this happen again and again. I've seen people who weren't even looking for promotion have it given to them when they least expected it. God gets the glory when business expansion happens in this way.

For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them. (verses 8)

The full meaning of verse 8 goes deeper than my understanding. But this much I do comprehend: there is a nasty after-bite coming for those who promote themselves through wickedness. “Dregs” is an old English word that occurs only three times in the Bible. All three are associated with Divine fury and wrath. It's not a word you want associated with you. If your business practices are marked by lying, dishonest gain, lust of the eyes, covetousness, withholding wages or defrauding others, you better hit the floor in repentance. God has a serious consequences coming for those who increase riches by wickedness.

But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted. (verses 9-10)
The last two verses of this psalm take us full circle to the beginning. Let the world keep their tactics; we will praise the Lord. Let the wicked boast of their might; we will boast in the might of our God. Let the proud horns of the wicked be cut off. The righteous trust God to exalt them for His glory and His praise.

Do you have a story about when God promoted someone who trusted Him? Sharing it would be a great blessing to me! What better way to encourage each other to believe Jesus' word than sharing His works from the past! :)

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