We all have to get out of bed in the morning. And we all do this because of ambition—some ambitions being godly, some not so much. Because we are the offspring of Adam, most of our ambitions, from the time we get up to the time we go to sleep, are selfish—some kind wrangling for money, honor, pleasure, etc. However, God has called us to a holy ambition, an ambition for the sake of his name and his purposes. This is why the Cross is so controversial, because it embodies the character and nature of God (Col. 1:19ff) and it represents what God is doing in this age (1 Cor. 1:27ff). Thus, the ambition of honoring Christ crucified becomes an ambition quite contrary to the ambitions common to this age—making followers of men (cf. 1 Cor. 1-3), peddling truth for money (cf. 2 Cor. 2:17), envy and self-exaltation (cf. Phil. 1:15), flattery for the praise of men (1 Thess. 2:5f), etc. Unfortunately, the church has been wrought with such perverse ambitions throughout its history. This is simply reflective of the nature of humanity.
However, we are called to crucify such ambitions and cry out for the Holy Spirit who gives holy ambitions. No man can stir up such things—it takes the Holy Spirit to impart ambitions that get us out of bed for the right reasons. So let us daily die to the “elementary principles of the world” (Col. 2:8, 20) which give rise to so many false “appetites” (Rom. 16:18; Phil. 3:19). With Paul we say, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Tim. 1:5)