“For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.”
One of the wisest pieces of instruction that you will find in life is found in the verse above. God said it is better that one is invited to “come up hither,” than that one is “put lower in the presence of the prince.” In other words, God is saying that it is better to work your way to the top than to manipulate or inherit your way to the top.
Before I went into evangelism as a young man, I went to a well-known preacher at the time and asked his advice about going into evangelism. After we talked for several minutes, he looked at me and told me never to go into evangelism. He told me that nobody knew my pastor or me, and that he would never have me preach in his church. I walked out of that man’s office determined to prove him wrong because I knew what God had called me into evangelism. A few years later, I saw the man, and he asked me how I was doing. I told him that God had blessed my ministry, that I was booked about a year in advance, and that I was scheduled to preach for the largest youth group in America.
A few years after that instance, Dr. Jack Hyles, my pastor, asked me if I wanted him to send out a letter promoting my ministry. I told him that I would rather him not do it, but I would rather God be the one to promote my ministry. My purpose in pointing these two instances out is that God promoted my ministry; I believe in part because I determined to work my way to the top instead of depending on others to push me to the top.
My friend, the best way to the top is done two ways. First, it is done by working your way to the top. It doesn’t matter what field you pursue in life; if you work your way to the top, you will always know how to get back up there if life knocks you down. There are many that I know who were handed the top position, but I have watched them slowly destroy the work they were given. You see, if you are handed the top position, you will not know how to stay there because you didn’t work your way through every stage that got you there. It is always better to work your way to the top than it is to be given the top position.
Second, let God give you the top position. Another lesson I have learned in life is that when God gives you success, only God can take that success away. If man helps you to succeed, then man can take your success away. If God is the One who helped you get to the top because of your work ethic, it will not matter what man does to try to take you out; man will fail because man did not put you to the top.
These two steps are the best way of getting to the top in any life pursuit. If you will get busy working hard and doing what you are supposed to do, you will grab God’s attention and He will bless you to the extent that you can handle. If position or title is given to you, you are likely not ready to handle the title or position, and the title and position will destroy you.
Let me challenge you to stop looking for the top spot and just get busy doing what you know you are supposed to do. If you seek position, you will do whatever it takes to get it, and that includes getting it in the wrong manner. However, if you seek just to do what you are supposed to do, you will find that God will use your work ethic to place you at the top.