Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey has been one of the most creative books I have read in the past year. This book is written on a topic that is often misunderstood. Harvey introduces the reader to the concept of ambition by first recognizing that this trait is a natural impulse that needs to be managed. "Recognizing this impulse isn't a big deal. The trick is getting a handle on how deep it runs and how much it determines what we do. This impulse is so big, it can determine how we respond to Jesus himself."
Harvey brings attention to the fact that we all have love for pursuits that we value. "We're pursuersâ€”we go after things we value. What is it for you? Think about what you value." Ultimately the pursuit for what we value leads to brining glory, either to ourselves or a concept, cause, or person greater than ourselves. "We love glory. We were created to look for it and to love it when we find it." Harvey recognizes that everyone in the world is in on the glory hunt, especially Jesus. "Everyone in this scene, including Jesus himself, is pursuing somethingâ€”and that something is glory." Yet, he later explains that the glory Jesus seeks is the glory of His father.
Harvey futher explains the purpose of glory seeking and the heart behind our drive to seek glory. "Glory is about radiance and splendor. But glory isn't just an attribute; it exists to be seen and recognized. It's about reputation, esteem, standing, honor. At its core, glory is about inherent value that's recognizable to others. It draws attention. Like a magnet, the value of glory attracts us." When our work and efforts are properly channeled to the right purpose, bringing glory to our savior and His father, we tap into our design purpose.
From this brief introduction, you can see that Harvey is onto a concept that is essential for you and I to study and understand.nbsp;Harvey argues, "But there's a condition. We must seek a certain type of glory. We're to hunger, crave, earnestly desireâ€”to be ambitious forâ€”the glory that comes from God."nbsp;Without understanding our God given ambition for glory, we will let the glory hunt center on ourselves rather than on God. If we do this, then the hunt masters us, not us mastering it so we catalyze the hunt for God's purpose. Harvey argues, "But there's a condition. We must seek a certain type of glory. We're to hunger, crave, earnestly desireâ€”to be ambitious forâ€”the glory that comes from God."
Harvey continues through his book to redemptively examine the concept of ambition. "To love glory is to pursue glory. If we love the glory that comes from God, it translates into a lifelong, passionate, zealous questâ€”in other words, godly ambition." Godly ambition is where we should place our energy. This can only be accomplished in one way. Harvey emphasizes that without the Gospel being at the center, we will not be able to rescue ambition. "But the good news of the gospel is that we aren't trapped by the tragedy of misplaced glory. While our ambitious impulses led us to vain pursuits, the Lord of glory has come to rescue our ambition." With the gospel at the center of our lives, we can rest in the work of Christ and see that he changes us through reconciling our misplaced ambition by imputing His righteousness to us. In other words, by trusting in Christ we take the first step to letting that warped sense of ambition be redeemed so that Christ can be magnified in our lives.
This could be the heart of Lecrae's single "God is Enough." Pursuing God and recognizing that he is enough is part of God's plan for us to take our ambition and lay it at His feet and submit ourselves to His ambitions. All those other pursuits that never satisfied, whether they be treasures, status, appearance may be let go so that God would be enough, our whole and sole ambition.
Pick up Harvey's book and give it a good read. Reflect on the chapters. Reread them. This work will inspire you to rescue your ambitions by turning your ambition into a pursuit of God that brings attention to Him and His glory, not yours.
View more reviews by Joey Cochran at jtcochran.com.
This is a book I wish I would have read many years ago, and I am only in my early twenties! Harvey clearly and biblically defines ambition, using basic theology (through a reformed lens) to defend its cause. His writing style is also catching and entertaining, thus making a book that is difficult to put down. So, whether you are a pastor with huge ambitions or a construction worker who cannot even define ambition, go buy this book! Trust me - you won't regret it.