Pride: a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction for one’s own achievements. I personally tend to struggle with this five letter word from time to time, and I guess, at some point, you probably have too. Pride has been a struggle for people throughout the ages.
King Uzziah was sixteen when he was made the king of Judah. Can you even fathom electing a child to be president? It blows me away to even think of someone so young having such power. Uzziah’s story is found in 2 Chronicles 26, but let me just give you a rundown. Uzziah was crowned king at sixteen, verse five says “during the time that he sought the Lord, God gave him success.”. So he went on to have great success as a young king, but it didn’t last forever. By the time we reach verse fifteen and sixteen, scripture says, “So his fame spread even to distant places, for he was wondrously helped until he became strong. But when he became strong, he grew arrogant, and it led to his own destruction.”. Uzziah goes on to act unfaithfully toward the Lord and ends up with leprosy.
As I read this story, two things jumped out of the bible at me. One came in verse five, “during the time he sought the Lord,” that tells me there was a time he chose not to seek the Lord. When we are faithfully pursuing God in our lives and ministries, He will faithfully bless us. God gave Uzziah success in every area, and He wants to do the same for you and me. The problem isn’t that God stops blessing, it’s that we stop seeking.
Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
The second thing that popped out at me came in verses fifteen and sixteen, “until he became strong.”. He became so accomplished throughout the land, he decided he didn’t need God. Maybe, in his own mind, he was enough. How often do we think we are enough? We get in the mindset that we can do things on our own. We allow self to take the place of Lord in our life. Sadly when we become strong, we too often weaken Christ in us.
Pride comes before destruction and an arrogant spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
King Uzziah was going places and doing mighty things with God’s blessing. But the moment he stopped seeking God and started pursuing self, and the applause of man, all that ended. No matter how great we may become, we can never stop chasing God and His will. And we must always look for the applause of God not man. A dear friend of mine, Faith Schweizer, wrote and sings a song called Audience of One. Her song speaks about how we live to make Jesus famous in our life, not ourselves. Faith sings, I write, and we live for an audience of one. Don’t allow pride to steal your promotion in kingdom business.