Ambition in cooperation with God, is a gift to be offered back to him.

Ambition as Cooperation with God | 3 Prayers for the Ambitious Woman

I had begun to picture cobwebs growing in the corners of my email inbox, and my impatience was rivaled only by my disappointment. After two years of watching my speaking ministry grow, suddenly the invitations had stopped coming.

Of course, I kept all my fraught feelings to myself. How could I share this particular sadness without appearing to be overly ambitious? I was certain that any mention of my longing to be used by God in this particular way would be misconstrued as a pushy over-reach.

I began to think carefully about ambition—my own aspirations as well as the place ambition might play in the life of a Christian woman, a servant of God. Was it wrong for me to long for more opportunities for service, for a broader reach? Holding tightly to God’s hand, I began to interrogate my ambition with some probing questions that I invite you to ask yourself as well.

I’m sharing my thought process today over at Living By Design ministries, and I invite you to join me there. I’m convinced! Ambition, surrendered to the will of God, has a definite place in the life of a Christian woman. I welcome your thoughts (and personal experiences!) on this topic in the comments below!

Holding you in the light,

Ambition, surrendered to the will of God, has a definite place in the life of a Christian woman.

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40 thoughts on “Ambition as Cooperation with God | 3 Prayers for the Ambitious Woman”

  1. It is such a fine line and one easily crossed. May our ambition always be hidden in Christ, in His will, and in His purposes. John 3:30 comes to mind, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” May this be our prayer.


  2. Michele,
    I can so relate. Especially when life takes me one way and I am providentially hindered from doing what I love for God. He sees and knows me better than I know myself, so His probing questions are not for Him to discover the answer, but for my eyes to see myself as I truly am.
    When I was facing a similar challenge, God gave me a prayer that I have repeated often. “I humbly bow my knee in surrender to Your Lordship in my life because I love You.”
    This hits my motivation and ambition on every level with every word.
    I hope it will help you as well. I love this transparent and honest post. May God use it to search all of our hearts.


  3. This is so superb, Michele. Our gifts, our availability, our desires, our work belong fully in His hands. He opens doors to opportunities at His pleasure. There’s great peace in resting in that space.


  4. Greetings Michele, My name is DeMaris Gill.  I have been following Living Our Days and The Joyful Magazine for some time! I was featured in the Mother’s Day Gift Guide for The Joyful Magazine and was excited to see your name as an affiliate!  Your insights and book suggestions have been a blessing to me!   I am a Wisconsin retired school teacher and surprisingly now a watercolor artist!  I have an online store, DeMaris Anne Designs, LLC  I would love to send you some of my linen watercolor greeting cards and a tea towel.   My vision is to bring jjoy and color into homes that bring hope and encouragement.   I am delighted to offer my original artwork to help  encourage shut-ins and those who need encouragement for a myriad of reasons.  If you think your readers would be encouraged by these products, would you consider a “shout out” for DeMaris Anne Designs? Thank you!  Blessings, DeMaris🌺 Sent from the all new Aol app for iOS


  5. Thank you so much for this post and your honesty! During my quiet time this morning, your name popped into my mind and I checked my email, and there was your post…waiting for me to read! This was such an affirmation! A song came to my mind when I was mulling over some of these questions… When I Survey the Wondrous Cross… 🙏❤️


  6. I enjoyed this article. In a video Tim Challies showed of his time visiting Amy Carmichael’s Dohnavur compound, he commented in passing that she was ambitious. I wasn’t sure I liked that word being applied to her. 🙂 But her ambition wasn’t personal–it was for God’s glory and to meet the needs of those she ministered to. When she first went to India she had no plans at all to build a compound. But as God led her, that’s what was needed. I probably would have just thought, “Boy, it sure would be nice if we had this and that. I hope and pray God lays it on someone’s heart.”

    I think your questions and prayers are great ones to keep ourselves balanced, keeping our ambition submitted to His.


  7. “My list be undone.” Oh man, Michele, now you are getting close to meddling. May I say your whole post stepped on my toes. I’m bookmarking it for later re-reading!


  8. Wanting to do more for God I don’t perceive as ambition, but I put myself in a “waiting on God” position, since I know there are seasons in my life, and He decides when a current season stops, and another begins. I don’t have the timing for that, since his timing is not ruled by the calendar, but by “events.” That is not to say that I am always patient in this:)


  9. I do believe this is my favorite from you, Michele. As I sit here with my nebulizer in my mouth staring at my half-packed suitcase on my bed, I’m grateful to be heading out to do what God’s given me to do – speaking in the Bay Area after this long drought of events. I’m grateful. But I’m also cognizant that each time could be my last and that it’s always up to Him even as I let the world know if they need a speaker with the message God’s given me, I’m happy to oblige. What a great God we have to allow us to partner alongside of HIm to share the gospel good news through the gifts He’s provided. Equally fun is inviting my neighbors in. “Whatever we do in word or deed…”


  10. This was so good. Looking at our motivation is key. I am looking at my motivation for so many things these days. Is it based on love or something else. Love these prayers, and they can be used in so many areas of our life.


  11. Michelle,
    God has a plan for each one of us and I have learned to just kiss it all up to God and go with his choices for me….Thanks so much for stopping by again!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!


  12. Michele, God’s plan for you surely includes this blog. Faithfully, with humility and honesty, you proclaim God-inspired truth here, and this post is no exception. I’ve copied your three sentence-prayers on a 3 x 5 to keep with my other prayer cards. Thank you for the reassurance that cooperation with God’s unique eternal purpose for each of us is the ambition that will bring the deepest satisfaction.


  13. A beautiful and wise post, Michele. Checking my motives is critical, yet I don’t instinctively remember to do it. This truth saves me: “My identity will always be based on who He says I am—not on what I do for Him.”


  14. A wise post filled with a mindful thinking that we all need. May our motivation be centered in His will. Thank you for linking up.


  15. Ambition is so often seen as a negative or masculine trait when discussing women. I have some ambitions but am so caught up in the day to day that I doubt it will amount to anything in the near future. Thanks for linking up with #MischiefAndMemories


  16. Thanks for linking up with us on #mischiefandmemories
    I always find your posts thought provoking and I will say I find the notion that ambition is a negative in the eyes of God to be a tricky one for me. Wanting to personally achieve doesn’t necessarily mean greed and standing on others to get there so for me it depends on the nature of achieving your ambitions that would dictate whether it was Christian to strive for them…


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