What is it about success that is so hard for we humans to handle appropriately? Once again through the trek of my daily reading, the bible is proved to be timeless as God's word points out the pitfalls of pride. Rehoboam, one of the successors to Solomon (remember, the kingdom had just divided at this juncture) hadn't been king of Judah for very long when good things started to happen for him. The kingdom was growing, Rehoboam was listening to God and sacrifices were being made. And then what happened? Once Rehoboam started realizing he was the king, he decided he didn't need to listen to THE King.
And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him. - 2 Chronicles 12:1
Confidence is a funny thing. We need to have it, but we shouldn't desire too much of it. Too little, and we'll never do a thing. Too much, and God just might not do His "thing". If we get too cocky, God just might teach us a little lesson. Take a further look at the plight of Rehoboam. In just the fifth year of his reign, God allowed the Egyptians and their friends to come against Jerusalem, because of their sin. Fortunately, there remained a fragment of humility within Jerusalem that softened God's heart and caused Him to show once again His mercy to His wayward people.
And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; (2 Chronicles 12:7a)
Friends, we need to constantly be examining the states of our heart. I believe that all of us at some time or other become too self-reliant, especially those of us in leadership positions. Self-reliance leads to pride. And we know what pride leads to - resistance from God.
...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6)
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5)
Rather than placing our confidence in God, we plan and plan without waiting for God to take the reigns of our jobs, ministries and homes. Do we really want to rely on our own strength when we have the power and wisdom of the Creator of the Universe at our disposal? The solution seems simple, doesn't it? Who wouldn't want to have God on their side? But in reality it takes effort to place our confidence in God and wait on Him rather than to take care of things ourselves, doesn't it? Our culture makes it hard. We have so many abilities. We have so many resources. And we can do things so fast. Like Rehoboam, we too can go from good to bad in God's eyes if we aren't careful. All it takes is a little prosperity to lessen our perceived need for God.
1) How prosperous or "strong" am I? Am I in a dangerous place of being over-confident?
2) Do I realize how much I need God?
3) What am I doing on a daily basis to ensure that I realize my proper place in this world in relation to God's marvelous majesty?
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.