God’s Yardstick for Promoting People

Everybody desires promotion, no one wants to stay at the same level. People eager to be promoted, some lobbied for it, some prayed for it, some struggled for it, some even killed for it, people do lots of things to get to the next level. The reality of life remains in the statement of Jesus in John 3:27 that “a man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven”.

Sam Adeyemi, in one of his broadcasts, said: in kingdom activities, there are no achievers but receivers. Which means whatsoever you think you have achieved now, has been given to you by the Lord. 

David in Psalm 75:6-7 said: 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” this Bible passage implies that no one is enthroned without God’s approval.

People indeed pursue promotion desperately but the fact remains, it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth but of God, that sheweth mercy (Roman 9:16). Some personalities are qualified in man’s presence but are not approved of God.

In 1Samuel 16:1-13. God intends to appoint a King from Jesse family, based on human qualification, the first seven sons of Jesse came out but God did not approve any of them. Truly; by human standard, they were qualified especially the first son Eliab. He was at the ripe age to become the king. He was an experienced warrior. He has the physical, and other human qualifications to the extent that when the prophet (Samuel) saw him, he almost anoint him as king but God said no because according to divine yardstick he was disqualified.

The question that comes to the mind of everyone is that what disqualified Eliab? Whatever disqualified him has also disqualified many people today. Since God was so specific in his yardstick for appointments. 

The word promotion means many things to many people depending on their field of operation but in this context, to promote means, to rise to higher, responsible, remunerative, or more important position or rank.

It has to do with lifting, it has to do with changing levels, and it has to do with advancement. Whatever idea you have, one thing you should know is that God is the source of every genuine promotion and every promotion that does not originate from God will end up in disgrace and frustration.

Things to know about promotion

Promotion comes with responsibilities: I have heard people passionately prayed for promotion, quoting many bible passages to support their prayer points but I have often ask myself if these people know the implication of the answer to their prayers. When someone is promoted, people rushed out to celebrate him but the fact remains that he has moved to a higher position. And being in a higher position there are higher responsibilities to carry out and he must not fail.

Promotion comes with opportunities: Another thing we need to understand about promotion is that it exposes one to greater opportunities. When you move to your new level, that level comes with new opportunities. You meet new people, you learn from them, you go to places you have not been before, and you receive gifts and remuneration greater than your former level and so many other benefits and opportunities.

Promotion comes with exposure: When a man is promoted he is exposed to a wider range of things, you are exposed to new ideas, you have new ways of doing things, you know secrete you have not known before.

Promotion comes with expectation: when you are promoted there are expectations from you. You are expected to be more mature, you are expected to be more composed, you are expected to be skilled enough to handle the task at hand, you are expected to rightly discharge your duties, you are expected to have outgrown your former position. Even God is expecting you to fulfill his original purpose in that new office he has placed you. So you can’t afford to disappoint him.

Promotion comes with challenges: Life is in levels and every level has its devil. When you move to the next level, you will also face the next devil. Each position has its challenges, sometimes you will discover that people are not who you think they are. The work becomes more tedious. People expect you to find solutions to tougher situations. So when you are promoted you should prepare for more challenges.

God’s yardstick for promotion

Since we have seen that promotion comes with many things and have agreed that it is God who promotes. The burning question here is what are God’s prerequisites for promoting people?

Readiness to fulfill God’s purpose

When God wanted to appoint King among the sons of Jesse, he was definite in his statement to Samuel. I have found a King for myself”. When he rejected Eliab, he was specific that it was a matter of the heart. In God’s appointment, he’s looking for people who are ready to fulfill his purpose. Those who are ready to carry out his agenda.

A serving Spirit

Another thing God sees in people he promoted is a serving spirit. In Matthew 20:20-28. When the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him and seek for position for her children. Jesus used that opportunity to correct views on promotion among his disciples and he said if anyone wants to be the greatest, he must be the servant.

Joshua was promoted to replace Moses after Moses’ death because he served Moses. Elisha took over the mantle of Elijah because he served him. God will not appoint people who want to Lord it over others in the position of leadership. He is looking for people with a servant’s heart.


The third qualification that God sees in people before promoting them is diligence. God values hard work. He appreciates people who are committed to the course. Proverb 22:29 says: “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before Kings: he shall not stand before mean men”. So it takes diligence to be promoted. 


Our God is faithful, and he wants men to be faithful to him and one another. In the parable of Jesus about the man who gave his servants talents in Matthew 25:14-30, those who are faithful in little things are made rulers over many. Promotion in God’s agenda is a reward of faithfulness.


Jesus in his teachings in Matthew 23:12 told his disciples that: “whosoever exalts himself shall be abased, and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted”. Which shows that, God promotes those who are humble. James in his letter said: “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble”. James 4:6. David in Psalm 138:6 said “though the Lord be high, yet he hath respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off”.

Even Jesus our Lord, “who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God but made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in the fashion as a man, he humbled himself and become obedient unto death”. After this, God exalted him. (Phil 2:6-9). whoever wants to be promoted should embrace humility.

Readiness to surrender all

God also promotes people who are ready to surrender all to him. Those who are not trying to share God’s glory with him. Those who are aware that whatever they have and have achieved belong to the Lord, and are ready to give it to him. Those who know that they are stewards, and ready to be accountable to God in whatever is in their possession. Those who are ready to say: “not my will but yours be done”. The heart to surrender all is a key to promotion.


Another thing that qualifies people for promotion is obedience. Studying from Deuteronomy 28:1-14 one will see that God invests much on people who obey his instructions.

People are seriously ready to sacrifice for promotion but in God’s agenda, obedience is better than sacrifice. Jesus himself was obedient before God could exalt him.

Whoever wants to be promoted must be obedient to God, be obedient to constituted authority, and be obedient to parents both spiritual and biological because your promotion is in your obedience.

God still promotes people but they have to meet up with his requirement.  



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