For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the judge: He puts down one, and exalts another. (Psalm 75:6-7)
We cannot promote ourselves into the place that God has for us. This promotion comes from the Lord. But we can do the things that place us in position to be promoted in God’s timing for us.
Paul said in Romans 1:1, “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.” Notice that Paul was called to be an apostle. That calling happened eons ago in the mind and heart of God. But then Paul says he was separated to this call. God has a plan, a call, for all of us. There is a Divine purpose for our lives that was determined before we were born (See Psalm 139).
Though we are called, we must be separated to that call or Divine purpose. And the separation to the call is when we actually begin to function in the will of God for our lives. And that separation has more to do with us than with God. God calls, and it’s up to us to respond. Jesus said it this way, “Many are called, few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14). Being chosen means entering into the call that God has for us.
God doesn’t look for ability but for availability when He separates us to the call for our lives. And the number one character trait God looks for is faithfulness when looking to promote us. It’s the faithful man that will abound with blessing. (Proverbs 28:20). It’s required in stewards that a man be found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). Paul told Timothy to look for faithful men to help him in ministry (2 Timothy 2:2). And Paul himself was placed in ministry, or you could say, he was separated to the call of God upon his life, because God counted him faithful (1 Timothy 1:12).
Are we faithful now in the small things? Promotion comes when we are faithful where we are. He looks for us to be faithful in our attitudes and words; faithful to submit and yield to others in positions of leadership. If we can’t be faithful in helping another person in ministry, how can God trust us with our own ministry (Luke 16:12)?
God has required faithfulness in me before each time of promotion in my life. I’ve been at the place of discontent with my lot in life so many times. Each time, the Lord kept me there until I could say, “Lord, if this is you plan for me, I will stay in this place the rest of my life; I want what you want for me.” And when I stopped striving, and focused on being faithful in what I was currently involved in, promotion came. The call comes from the Lord, but the separation to that call is determined by our faithfulness.