The following is a lightly edited transcript.
I hope you have an ambition. I hope you have a strong, clear, gospel ambition. Some of you are wired not to have ambitions. You don’t think in those terms at all. I want to encourage you to have one — to get one.
Take a retreat. If you’re married, ask your spouse to give you two days on the weekend. Just go away with your Bible and a notepad. Probably not your computer and not your iPad. Leave your phone at home if you can. Just your Bible and a notepad.
Get a group to pray for you while you’re away. And ask God, “Give me an ambition for the next ten years.” It might be, “I want to be the most faithful mom I can possibly be.” Or it might be, “I’m turning this neighborhood up for Jesus.” I don’t know, but God would like to meet you there. He would like to do that.
“If you don’t have an ambition for your life, you’ll just drift aimlessly until the end.”
I remember, during my years of ministry, those periodic times when I just went away. Or sometimes Noël and I went away together, and we asked God, “Lord, say anything you want about the next five or ten years. Just say anything to us. We just want to get the noise out of our heads and be available. Give us a mission.”
I remember in 1993 when our church came crashing down. We lost 230 people, didn’t grow for four years, and then we pulled a group together and said, “Let’s try to reidentify ourselves, rethink who we are, and see if we can survive.” And in the middle of that, they sent me away to a retreat center.
I went to St. Paul, and I rented a room for two days in a Catholic monastery over there in St. Paul. They said, “You come back with a mission for this church.” And now it’s on the walls of our church. I said, “God, I need an ambition.” After about 36 hours, my ambition was and is
I exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things, for the joy of all peoples, through Jesus Christ.
Find yours. Write it on a piece of paper and put it in your wallet or your purse, and then remind yourself why you exist, because if you don’t have an ambition or something like it, you know what? You coast. You drift. You just drift in life. You get up in the morning, you just do the next thing, and you drift. Paul wrote,
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15–16)
He didn’t mean drift. Redeeming. You see a day, you see an hour, you see a week, you see a decade, and you buy it for your ambition — your God-given ambition that he gave you when you took your retreat exactly for that purpose.
Read, watch, or listen to the full message: