We must not confuse a man or woman of God with God Himself. We must not worship a person called by God to serve as His mouthpiece. We must not exalt men to the position reserved exclusively for God. Not should we desire such exaltation.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. – John 1:6-8, ESV
John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was referring to John the Baptist. During the height of the Baptizer’s ministry, no one quite knew what to think of John (either one, actually). Some called John the Baptist by the title of Messiah, Christ, but John made sure to deny any such claim.
In fact, John went a step further and proclaimed his true place in perspective to the true Messiah, Jesus. John described himself as unfit to handle Jesus’ shoes, a task often given to the lowest of slaves. So while others might have wanted to exalt John, John himself rejected it.
For us in the Church, John’s example is an object lesson. We can exalt men when we should only exalt God. Also, we might seek the praise of men when we should instead desire the praise of our God. Those are both wrong. We are nothing compared to the light of the World, the Lord Jesus. Only He deserves to be exalted and glorified.
Whom do you exalt? And whom do you want to exalt you? Scripture tells us that those who chose to humble themselves and be servants of all will be the ones exalted by God. Let us not exalt men and let us not seek the praises of men. Instead, let us become bondslaves of Christ, and seek His face, His presence, and His praise. Let us serve in such humility that we experience the pleasure of Jesus.