The Desire For Greatness

Deep inside all of us, there is a desire to be great…..

A guest post by my good friend and pastor Josh Longanecker

 As kids, we daydream about becoming a hero, a pro athlete, or a singer. We all want to become someone with courage, sacrifice, and loyalty. You rarely hear an 8 year old say they want to be a mediocre employee working for the weekend!

Then, even as we get older and realize the NBA, Hollywood, or becoming a king of some country is not a realistic goal (all of which are careers I have strongly considered), we still want to be great at our profession. However, sometime between childhood and adulthood, our definition of greatness changes. As adults, our magnitude is often measured by cheers of the crowd. Promotions become the standard of our professional accomplishments. We define our familial success by what others say about our kids, and our social achievement by how many re-tweets or likes we get per post.

However, God defines greatness differently. Success in the Kingdom of God is more about the courage to do what God has called you to and faithfulness to stick it out. The apostle Paul was a great example of this. Paul planted churches, performed miracles, and did amazing things for God. Yet his greatest success was courageously and faithfully following God’s calling. As Paul faced imprisonment and eventually death, despite all he had accomplished, he said,

I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again. I declare today that I have been faithful (Acts 20:22-26 NLT).

The desire for greatness was put into our hearts by God. However, the greatness God put into our hearts has more to do with courage, sacrifice, and faithfulness than having our name in lights. Some of you started off courageously doing what God has called you to, but now it does not feel like greatness. Truth be told, you were listening for the cheers of the crowd and all you heard was the silence of anonymity. Now, you are thinking of quitting and trying something else. Yet, if you could hear the voices of heaven you would hear all the angels and even God himself cheering you on. You started off with courage, and now it is time to remain steadfast and declare, “Today, I have been faithful.”

Some of you reading this know God is calling you to something great and it scares you. Looking ahead you see an uncertain and even hard road, but you feel it is where God is asking you to go. Now is the time for courage, to look at the road ahead and say, “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus.”

Greatness exists in all of us, the question is do we have the courage to go after it, and the faithfulness to keep after it?


“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
This entry was posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, CHRISTIAN TAGALOG BLOGS, CHRISTIAN TEENS BLOGS, SHARING STRUGGLES , Shaping Spiritual Solutions! and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Desire For Greatness

  1. Pingback: The Desire For Greatness | Daily Bread

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