Your Impact is not Determined by How Many People Know Your Name
Have you ever heard the nam 'Bezalel'? Perhaps you are among the few who recognize the name, but for the most part, the name 'Bezalel' is relatively unknown. Regardless of whether you recognize the name 'Bezalel,' more than likely you know of the Ark of the Covenant. Even many people who do not profess to believe the Scriptures have heard of the Ark of the Covenant, an essential and central part of Israel's history. In the Old Testament, the Ark represented the Presence of Almighty God. For many generations, the Ark caused kings to rejoice and nations to tremble. While many people today could easily identify the Ark of the Covenant, very few people would be able to name the man that made the Ark – Bezalel (see Exodus 37:1). Not only did Bezalel make the Ark and the mercy seat upon it, but according to Exodus 31:7-11, Bezalel also made the Tabernacle, all the furniture within the Tabernacle, the priestly garments, the anointing oil for the Tabernacle, and the sweet incense. Yet among Biblical scholars and teachers, even those who conduct deep studies on the Tabernacle and the priestly garments, very few, if any, give attention to the man, Bezalel. Still, it would be difficult to deny the impact that Bezalel had in the nation of Israel and beyond.
Herein we discover a profound truth: Your impact in the Kingdom of God is not determined by or proportional to how many people know your name.
Arguably the best-known villain in American cinematic history is Darth Vader from the iconic Star Wars franchise. Even many who are not fans of Star Wars would easily be able to identify Darth Vader, and even those who have never seen the movies have likely heard certain lines or phrases that Darth Vader spoke in the movies. The voice of Darth Vader was provided by James Earl Jones. When the initial movie was released, James Earl Jones declined to have his name added to the film credits. Later, as the franchise grew in popularity, Jones' name was added in to the credits, but in the initial release, his name did not appear. For years, people all over the world had heard his voice in the films, and yet the name James Earl Jones was not initially tied to the voice in the film credits. It would be safe to say that, for fans of Star Wars, James Earl Jones made an impact that reached much further than the recognition of his name.
This example of James Earl Jones brings up a thought-provoking question: How important is it to you that your name be listed in the credits? Metaphorically speaking, in the 'credits' of this life, are you concerned about your name being listed? Be honest with yourself about the answer to that question. Human nature seeks credit for accomplishments, but the Kingdom of God is often full of paradoxes.
When you get to Heaven, your reward will not be for how well you made your own name known, but rather you will be rewarded for how well you made the Name of Jesus known. If you seek to make Jesus known, the Lord, Himself with exalt you.
Never make the mistake of thinking that your impact in the Kingdom of God is measured by how many people know your name. Bezalel's impact was not at all proportional to the recognition of his name. In the same way, the gift that Jesus has placed within you can make a significant impact with ripple effects that reach much further than you could ever fathom.
You may sow a financial seed into a ministry that impacts lives across the globe. Or you might win one soul to Jesus who in turn leads multitudes to Christ. What if God uses you to mentor or disciple someone who later becomes a person of influence? Consider for a moment the case of a man named Ananias. In Acts 9:10-22, God instructed Ananias to minister to Saul of Tarsus. At first Ananias was hesitant, aware that Saul was a known persecutor of the Church. But Ananias chose to obey the Lord, and as a result, the Apostle Paul’s ministry began. The impact of Ananias’ obedience is unfathomable. Even today people all over the world are reading letters that Paul wrote, Epistles that may never have existed had Ananias been disobedient. Of course God likely would have accomplished it in some other way, but the point remains that the impact Ananias made in the Kingdom of God far outreaches the recognition of his name.
Be encouraged by this revelation. Never despise or minimize the value of what God has placed in your hand. Resist the temptation to measure your effectiveness or fruitfulness according to how widely your name is known. If you are faithful over what God has assigned to you, the Name of Jesus will be glorified, and His Name is all that matters!