Discover His heart: He looks for a humble response to His blessings
For many years I had the privilege of speaking to the women in attendance at an annual conference. I always spent a lot of time in preparation and a great deal of time in prayer about it. I remember one year my message was especially well received and our time together was blessed by the Lord. After the meeting, a woman came up to me and asked me to share this same message with the ladies group at her church, and we secured a date.
When the day arrived, I only briefly went over my notes because I knew the material well, and because it was a busy week for me, my prayer time for the meeting was minimal. I proceeded with all the confidence in the world when I got up to share, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that it wasn’t going well. Possibly the term lead balloon best describes my reception that night. No anointing, no response – I could hardly stand to listen to the message myself! Needless to say, I have taken my ministry preparation very seriously ever since that night and vowed that I would never again rest on any laurels or attempt to speak His truths in my own strength. In response to my repentance, God has been gracious and merciful to me, but unfortunately, Israel’s King Uzziah just didn’t get it.
@ 2 Chronicles 26
“Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years…Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God. And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success.” (3-5) Uzziah’s accomplishments were many. He reinforced the city walls with fortified towers that archeologists have now uncovered that were built to protect his many herds of cattle.
Uzziah developed magnificent gardens and vineyards because of his love for the soil. He built a strong, well-equipped army as well as new defensive weapons that would be copied and used for many centuries. “His fame spread far and wide, for the Lord gave him marvelous help, and he became very powerful.” (16) Enter that old deceiver – pride.
“But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the Lord his God by entering the sanctuary of the Lord’s Temple and personally burning incense on the incense altar.” (16) Uzziah had every possibility of finishing strong, but once again a king in Jerusalem ended in defeat. His pride brought leprosy and isolation to him after a tremendous start as the king. While I had hoped to find a message of encouragement from 2 Chronicles, today is not the day. However, through King Uzziah’s life, we see a lesson to be learned about our response to God’s blessings in our lives. It’s easy to become strangely enamored with ourselves through our promotions and successes.
If God’s blessings do not bring us to our knees in humility, they just may bring us to our knees in destruction because of our prideful response to them. When blessings and promotions come our way, we shouldn’t think that it’s because of our goodness, because we spoke so well or because we governed so well. Our blessings are all about Him and His mercy and grace to us. Our best response to His blessings is a bow of the head, a prayer of thanksgiving and a heart of humility. And with that, we will finish strong.
Moving Forward: I pray my response to His blessings today will be that of thanksgiving and humility and not taking Him for granted.
Tomorrow @ Psalm 122-124