2 Chronicles 26 and Isaiah 1:2
Last week while I was traveling I was reading “It is Finished” by David Wilkerson. Chapter 8, Christ- Our High Priest of the New Covenant gave me a bit of revelation I wasn’t expecting. He discussed King Uzziah and I was immediately struck how this story can be applied to myself, if I am not careful. As I went into 2 Chronicles 26 to gain further insight, the path grew wider, leading me to Isaiah 1:2.
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: I have nourished and brought up sons and have made them great and exalted, but they have rebelled against Me and broken away from Me.
Now King Uzziah, was a great King, The Lord blessed him in every area of his life. “He did right in the Lord’s eye’s.”….. “He set himself to seek God..” “As long as he sought (inquired of yearned for) the Lord, God made him prosper.”
He was a good King, but that was not his legacy. You see after about 50 years. He wanted to do more for God and by all accounts this seems like a good thing. HOWEVER, one day he had a wild idea and thought it would be good to light the incense himself in the temple, instead of the Levitical priests. The priests tried to stop him, he rebelled and threw a temper tantrum. In so many words he concluded, “How dare you say I can’t do this!” Then while the discussion continued, he was struck with leprosy on his forehead. This was his true legacy, a leper king who became proud spiritually and God did not approve. “Hold on little king, you might not be as privileged as you think.” emphasis mine.
A man who had been a faithful servant for many years grew spiritually proud, thought he was entitled, lost sight of the Fear of the Lord, was struck by a curse and cut off from the House of the Lord, as the Bible says. There are many preachers today informing congregations that they can do just about anything spiritually you want as long as your heart is following Jesus. I disagree.
Let’s move forward a bit. Jesus died for your sins and because of that, He is now the High Priest (Hebrews 7). He is the one that truly enters the Holy of Holies on our behalf and intercedes for us daily. He is the only one that can offer up His sacrifice to heavenly Father on our behalf. All of us who are committed Christians have a heart for God, but let us not forget we are still human and can still be attacked spiritually and physically and be led to believe we can be more than what God intended for us. (Does Adam and Eve ring a bell?)
I don’t know about you, but when I see passages like this in the Bible I take pause because each of us can take the favor of the Lord and presume it is a license to move into areas that we are not allowed. As we continue, please understand I am not saying you can’t do certain things some pastors are saying you can spiritually perform things to keep you in the pews, but remember those same pastors won’t share their stage with you either.
Next week we will talk about Gospels preached to satisfy one’s needs, but this week I need to share this in preparation for that article.
God’s favor in my life was on display last week. As King Uzziah, before the rant, I can easily walk in the confidence that God has my back. My wife and I received a financial blessing out of nowhere and a set of bills were able to be cleared. While I was meditating and waiting for God one morning He gave me a vision. It was a simple one, but before I get into that I need to say that, for me, getting quiet with God is a chore. I think about a thousand things, usually work and what I will do next. Many times I ask Holy Spirit to help me calm down, and in that brief moment with my hands facing upward while I sat in chair in my hotel room in Kansas City. I was apologizing to God for thinking of work. (Believing my lack of focus was not reverential).
All of a sudden I had a picture in my mind of Joseph and his role he played with Pharaoh. Then I saw a picture of me in front of a white board, doing what I do. Immediately, He pressed on me that this is what God made me for. This is my talent. I used to be good in my own strength, but I am becoming exceptional in His.
I didn’t have to apologize for the gift God gave me, I only have to walk it out. He wasn’t asking me to do anything “supernatural” for that day, but to do my job and let the miracle unfold without forcing one to happen. However, this is not where the story ends. During lunch I spoke with my customer and discussed how I want to follow the lead of Jesus and do as He instructs daily. I want to get away from doing things in Jesus name under my own strength. There is a difference and King Uzziah is a prime example. I believe King Uzziah wanted to do this for God but missed the mark when his expectations differed from God’s. I believe to be a true servant to Christ I need to move while being prompted by the Holy Spirit. Don’t confuse this with the thought, I can’t do anything unless I hear from God and being afraid of making a mistake. I am talking about walking and listening, knowing that Jesus has my back and as long as I keep upon myself open to Jesus and do those things to keep my altar pure, my actions will be a blessing unto God. Will I make mistakes, yup. But that is the beauty of it all, I walk in freedom because of the covenant. Overtime as I continue to avail myself to Jesus, my spiritual ears will be focused more towards God and not; me, myself and I.
Jesus said he did as the Father told Him, I want to walk that out in my life under the New Covenant, not walk in the New Covenant demonstrating God’s glory under my own guidance. I am not trying to put myself or God in a box, I just want my heart in the right place so God can do with me as pleases. There is a fine line with what God will allow me to do and what God wants me to do. The same is true on Earth, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
Three hours later, after what seemed to be no win situation with a business process we were trying to fix. I threw up my hands, asked for an aspirin and ask God for help. I had to leave the room. When I came back, within 30 minutes, the problem none of us could solve came into focus for me. All of a sudden I was once again writing on the white board and mapping out the solution. We brought everyone into the room and it was confirmed, we had figured it out. This solution ended up being the top solution the customer chose to implement.
Standing outside the room, a bit later, relieved we had something to present to management. I went up to the gentleman I spoke to about Christ during lunch and said, “Remember that vision I told you about I had this morning. This was it.”
I was ready to give up, push through in my own strength, but called on God in my moment of anguish.
Still this is not the end of the story. Word got back to Atlanta, a voicemail from my CEO was waiting for me once I landed with all the congratulatory phrases one hopes to might hear, for a job well done.
I was struck with joy and fear in the same moment. I know in my heart that I had been thunderstruck by the Fear of the Lord. This is a feeling I can hardly explain because so many things where happening at the same time.
I was afraid to acknowledge that I had performed the work that was done, because it was God’s doing not mine. Yet, I was joyful for the recognition. I was anxious because we have to do the work now, to make it a reality. However all things are possible though Christ and I need to continue to walk in His presence and not get ahead of myself. Which I can do if I am not on guard. And because I listened, read the word and asked God what I should do that day, I was blessed. But, if I were to take the Glory upon myself it would be a lie. The Fear of the Lord hit me right between the eyes, this was God’s moment not mine and I knew it.
It was the weirdest and most gratifying feeling I have ever had, but each day as I get closer to God, I have new experiences. I have to be reminded that just because I had a good experience with God last week doesn’t mean I have a blank check to do something in His name this week. I can easily stray from Him by not maintaining a Fear of the Lord and pick up the ball the run with it the rest of the way. That is why the Story of King Uzziah is important, from the Old Testament. God does not change and if a faithful servant can fall away from God due to spiritual pride so can you or I.
Christ’s New Covenant is something we need to agree to. Yes, it is freely given but we must freely receive it and NOT take it.
I love you Father