SEEKING FAME OR SEEKING GOD? That is a question for all of us who claim to be Christians and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Are we seeking to serve God so that we can be recognized for the things we do in God’s name and thus promote ourselves or are we seeking to serve others that their needs may be met in God? After Jesus performed the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000, “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray,” (Matthew 15:22-23 NIV). Human nature is such that if God used us in some great way we would be tempted to pause and bask in the glory of the way God had used us; seeking the acclamation or praise of those around us. The miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 is in the gospels and proclaimed around the world so much that even the non-Christian world for the most part is aware of it. But Jesus instead of seeking the acclamation of the crowds sent everyone away from Him including the Apostles and went up on a mountainside to be by himself and pray and seek the Father’s face.
Jesus spent three years of public ministry meeting the needs of all those around Him and He did it with great humility and without seeking public acclamation or praise from the crowds but rather always directing their attention to His Father in heaven. Instead of seeking praise from mankind He directed praise to His Father and was always looking for opportunities to spend time alone with His Father, away from the crowds and away from the Apostles. Human nature tends to drive us to seek praise from the people around. And as Christians we realize we have responsibilities to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16 KJV). But when our light does shine does that cause us to puff up and seek recognition for what we have done or does that drive us to seek the face of God away from the very ones we have blessed by our actions so that we can pray and seek God’s face in thanksgiving and empowerment for future service for God?