“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.”
Things in the kingdom of God run very differently than they do in the kingdoms of men. This is particularly true of exaltation. The word exalted means “to raise in rank or power, to be elevated or lifted above.” What exaltation is, and how to achieve it, are different in God’s Kingdom.
Jesus declared, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave” Matthew 20:25-27
The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven is the one who serves. That does not mean if we serve we will be exalted to a place above serving, but when we serve, we are in the highest place. Servanthood is not a means to greatness, it is greatness. Paul wrote to the Philippians that we should, “do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but with lowliness of mind we should esteem others higher than ourselves” (Philippians 2:3). One of the driving factors behind selfish ambition is a failure to recognize that exaltation comes from the Lord. We see others push their way to the front and we think the only way to get ahead is to push and push hard.
Jacob was a man who struggled to understand that exaltation comes from the Lord. At birth, he was given promises that he would be exalted, and would inherit the promises of his father Abraham. Instead of walking in the ways of the Lord, and trusting in the promises of God, Jacob spent his life pushing to the front. It was not until he surrendered to the ways of God that he benefitted from the promises.
Instead of striving, pushing, manipulating, and worrying, why not sit quietly before the Lord, laying your needs before Him. When we learn to humble ourselves, then we will find true exaltation.