Psalms 75:6-7 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 (KJV).
It can be a frustrating thing when a person believes he is in line for a promotion and does not get one. Adding insult to injury would be getting bypassed for advancement by someone who was lower on the proverbial latter. How many right now are waiting for a promotion that does not seem any closer than the first day they started their current position? Likewise, how many are waiting for a promise from God come to fruition that still appears to be in the far distance? When we see others promoted it would be easy to protest, “Where is mine?” Perhaps the problem lies with one’s definition of promotion. It may be time to rethink that one, especially if one claims to be a follower of Jesus. Sometimes people have been promoted without realizing it, which goes back to how they define what that means. Secondly, it may serve people well to ask themselves why they think they deserve one. There is more to promotion than “deserving it.” This leads to a third question: how do you define “deserve?”
For the believer, promotion comes from God, which means it would be a good idea to find out how He defines that word and what His criteria is for advancing people up the latter. Jesus is our Ultimate Example of how it really works in the Kingdom. As we examine His example, we will also find definition. Philippians 2:3-11 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (KJV). Jesus actually took a demotion, which led to His promotion. While being equal with God the Father, He humbled Himself before Him and gave up His rightful position in order to serve and save us. He maintained that position of humility through the Cross and Resurrection. He did not demand the Promotion that He did indeed deserve; He allowed the Father to exalt Him. While being the Author and Finisher of our faith, He is the Author and Finisher of true faithfulness as well. From being born in a manger and through out His entire earthly ministry, He was faithful with everything the Father desired of Him. Even now, Jesus still serves and saves by with the will of the Father.
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me (KJV). Many say they want to follow Jesus, but when the rubber meets the road how many actually do? It is one thing to say a prayer at the altar and call oneself a Christian, but it is another to be a true disciple of Christ. The question to ask our selves in the mirror is, “Am I a true disciple?” If you go where Jesus goes, you will be promoted. If you go somewhere else, you are in line for a demotion. Sometimes a demotion is a promotion in the Kingdom. In order reach certain people, we may need to go where no one else desires to go. That may include taking a “lower position” in order to serve someone in a “higher position” (or any position for that matter). In many cases, the servant gets closest to the one who holds the position or title (presidents, kings, CEOs, stars, etc.). For example, Joseph had to become a slave and a prisoner in order to have an audience with Pharaoh. He served well in both positions and was promoted to the highest position in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. He did not serve for advancement; he served out of faithfulness to God. It did not look like Joseph would see the promises of God fulfilled when his brothers sold him into slavery. That unfair act led to the salvation of the entire nation of Israel (read Genesis 37-50). Truthfully, it is the soul of the individual that matters to God, and not the title or position. That means it is just as important to go to the “nobody” as it is to the “somebody.” The bottom line is that we go where Jesus sends us, without having respect of persons. He rewards us according to our faithfulness to Him, regardless of what we think is important.