It seems everyone is looking for their 15 minutes of fame. YouTube...Facebook...Selfies...Instagram...Twitter are all helping to promote our fame. We're all looking for that one catch phrase or creating that one video which will have millions of people "liking" our post or possibly even landing us on Ellen's show. Christians aren't immune. It's almost as old as Methusela to want to become famous! Actually, it dates back to Noah...at least.
After the flood, God told Noah and his family to spread out across the earth, repopulate the earth, and subdue it. Ol' Noah's clan got to the land of Shinar (about a 30 day journey) and thought it was a good place to stop and build a tower to the sky to "make a name for themselves!" And God actually said, "Will you look at that! The people are all together on this. With one language they are able to start this kind of project. This is only the beginning of what they will do. Soon they will think they can accomplish anything and everything on their own. Let’s go down and break this up! If We confuse their language, they won’t be able to understand each other’s words. This is how the Eternal scattered people from Shinar all across the surface of the earth." (Genesis 11:6-8, The Voice)
1. They were disobeying God. He'd said "spread out" and they stopped. He had a plan in their being scattered--He wanted the whole earth filled with His representatives.
2. They were doing what they did for themselves. They wanted to make a name for themselves. Even Jesus said, "If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me."
3. They were in unity. Just because there's unity, doesn't make it a great idea! They'd found something they could "accomplish on their own." God wants us submitted to Him--not doing our own thing.
4. There was already greatness in their names--they didn't have to make a name for themselves! And they understood what their name meant because of the descriptiveness of their language. But they were searching for their identity and their purpose in the wrong place and in the wrong way.
When we understand who we are, our identity, and the purpose for which God has created us, it gives us a focus for how God wants to use us in the kingdom of God. And it also answers the "why!" Why do we do the things we do? The "why" is to glorify God and to lift up the name of Jesus through the very things He's put inside of us. Jesus' name is above every name and we should delight to exalt his name. When we spend time exalting Jesus' name, it's not so important to become famous.
But...on the flip-side, God has created us in His image. He's made us into a complex being which reflects His nature and character. We become a representative of Him. It's kind of like when a baby is born and we say, "Oh! He's the spitting image of his daddy!" We're the spitting image of our Father...at least an aspect of Him. Just like no two children from the same daddy are exactly like him--but each have characteristics of him. When we understand who we are and what we were created to do, we can then break open the essence of who we are in praise to the One who created us. Just like when Mary broke open the alabaster bottle of perfume to anoint Jesus and it expanded--when we break open the essence of who God created us to be as an expression of worship to Him, it expands. Who we are expands. Our purpose expands. And the fragrance of our worship fills the room.
Don't spend time creating skyscrapers to reach the sky to make a name for yourself (or any other number of things you can do on your own)...find out who you are. Worship God with who you are. Submit to Him and watch God expand the essence of YOU. It's a work of transformation accomplished by the Spirit of God. That expansion and transformation beats fame anytime!
II Corinthians 3:18
Now all of us, with our faces unveiled, reflect the glory of the Lord as if we are mirrors; and so we are being transformed, metamorphosed, into His same image from one radiance of glory to another, just as the Spirit of the Lord accomplishes it.