Flak Vest Devotion #15 — Where Does Promotion Come From?

“Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. 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.” Psalms 75:5-7 (KJV)

To the Christian and the Jew, the term Passover brings back memories of Moses leading the children of Israel out of captivity and into the promised land. However, in military culture there is a more playful application of the word Passover. For the military member “pass-over” denotes that time that comes around once a year when one finds out they have been “passed over” for that next rank. Their hopes had been high and they likely didn’t sleep very well the night before promotion results were released. They celebrated with those in their unit who were selected for promotion but deep down inside they were hurting as they face rejection for yet another time as their hopes for a new rank and pay rate are shattered until the following year.

Yet, the Bible speaks about promotion in Psalms 75 where we read that promotion neither comes from the south, the east or the west but it is God that promotes. A cursory look at that passage might leave the reader wondering why all 4 geographic directions were not used in that Psalm. In Scripture, the north is sometimes used as an expression of God’s reign. Therefore, in that context promotion doesn’t come from the south, east or west but certainly from the north as it relates to God’s influence on our life.

If promotion truly comes from the Lord in his timing, memorizing Psalms 75 will help as we face the very human emotion of rejection. If your promotion system involves a written test, meditate on that passage prior to entering the testing room. If it involves appearing before a board, recite Psalms 75 in order to calm your nerves. Regardless of how you use it, always remember that it is God that will promote and place you into positions of authority that will further the aims of his kingdom.

For the Christian, as they rise rank whether in the military or a civilian vocation it is important to remember that the promotion is not to satisfy the goals of the person. The promotion or pass-over of a promotion is God’s strategic placing of the Christian a realm of influence needed for the kingdom of God. As a person keeps that in mind, they will begin to see God at work more than they ever have before. When a person is being passed in the hallway, the Christian will be able to say “Lord, how can I be your ambassador in that person’s life today.”

Lord, help us to always focus on You and have the confidence that You are truly in charge and only want the best for me. Please remind me often that I am in a new position of trust to further Your kingdom. Also, help me keep the perspective that my occupation is secondary to the mission you have for me on this earth as a citizen of heaven.