Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.
Ever wondered how you’d know if you’re humble?
You won’t … but those around you will know! And if they attempt to praise you for your great humility don’t listen to a word they’re saying because if you do you’ll begin to believe it and if you do that you’ve lost it.
Uzziah (II Chronicles 26) became Judah’s king at his father’s death. He was sixteen years of age. He’s one of the ‘good kings’ of Judah and the good ones were few and far between. Zechariah the prophet became his mentor and taught him to fear God.
His reign was rich with successes. He declared war on the Philistines, destroyed cities, built new ones, dug many wells and cared for his many fields and vineyards. His fame began to spread. His army consisted of over 307,000 elite soldiers all equipped with the best in battle gear.
In the last part of verse 15 of II Chronicles 26 we are told: “His fame spread far and wide, for the Lord gave him marvelous help, and he became very powerful.” If the chapter and story ended here we could close the book and feel good about this young leader who became powerful through God’s help. But there’s more!
The very next verse says, “But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall.” Obviously it doesn’t have to turn out like this … but it too often does. Pride rides on the coattails of success. It sneaks in the door behind a victory. It is carried into our lives by the accolades of others. Their cheers for us become our cheers for ourselves.
In so doing we nudge God from his place of leadership in our lives. From where we push him, we are no longer able to hear him. We’re left with only two voices in our lives – our own and Satan’s. We can trust neither.
Uzziah’s pride steals his kingdom from him. He fails to respect the now ‘almost inaudible’ voice of God and crosses a line of disobedience. God touches him with a crippling disease and Uzziah is literally isolated from his people for the rest of his life.
And the tombstone on his grave said nothing about his former greatness. It simply read: He Had Leprosy.
Do what you must to keep God’s voice and directions in your life. Surround yourself with friends who have been given permission to speak to your pride … to keep you humble. Keep a sharp lookout for any sign that you’re beginning to believe the praise of others.
God’s assessment of us is the only one that matters.
“As the scripture says, ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”
James 4:6 Good News Translation