January 22, 2007

Greatness of Soul

2 Kings 15:1-7

After Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. 2 Chronicles 26:16


Azariah (also known as Uzziah) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, so he was blessed.

In 2 Chronicles 26 we can see how this king was a success story--a reclaimer of land, rebuilder of towns, leader of a big army, inventor of military machines. God made Azariah into an awesome king.

But when he became powerful, his heart became proud. One day Azariah strutted into the temple, broke God's rules about burning incense, and resisted the priests who confronted him. But then "leprosy broke out on his forehead"--a punishment from God. So, as all lepers had to do in those days, he was forced to live in seclusion, "in a separate house." How broken he must have been, and how lonely. He was king of a million subjects, but he couldn't be with anyone.

It's hard, isn't it, to know that God cares less about success than we do. God is the One and Only King who lives within us, and in that inner place he is the Reclaimer of Satan's spiritual territory, the Rebuilder of ruined hearts, and the Inventor of the weapons of fellowship and peace. God would rather get all that inner work done than have us accomplish what is "successful" or "great" in the eyes of this world.

As you look ahead in this new year, are you thinking about your greatness, or God's?

Dear Lord, live within me, and do your holy and divine work there. Keep me from pride and from selfishness. Help me to put you first in my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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