The rise and fall of King Uzziah
Before you read this post, read this.
It's the 26th chapter of 2 Chronicles. By read, I mean really read it, and understand this story, otherwise this post won't really teach you anything, plus I'll be quoting some verses, so it would be helpful if you knew I wasn't lying - they're totally written in the Bible. :)
Uzziah became king at 16. Better yet, he was elected king by the people of Judah, over his own father. Talk about a huge responsibility! But, he managed his new role perfectly.
"He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper...His fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for he became exceedingly strong."
He expanded the land owned by the people of Judah, and he fought and won against the Philistines, Arabians and Meunites. He had a powerful army at his command, he built walls to protect his people and he came up with sophisticated military strategies. Tributes were built to him! He became a success. He was a powerful ruler, respected and admired by friends and enemies alike. All because he "did what was right in the sight of the Lord".
"But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God..."
Then, Uzziah got so big that he thought protocol and God's rules simply didn't apply to him anymore. From there, his fall was swift and brutal. God gave him leprosy, he became an outsider and his son took the throne. 52 years of success and blessings on the throne and within minutes he lost it all.
Pride is a tricky thing. It sneaks up on us and tricks us in thinking we're strong enough to stand alone, without God, and we never see the fall coming, no matter how many times we give in to pride.
Sometimes, our prideful moments are not as dramatic as King Uzziah's. For example, I can think that on this one test, I've studied hard enough that I know I'll get an A, no need to pray or ask God for help, I can do it! It happened to me, and I got my very first C on my test. Or thinking I can get away with this one thing just because I was so good in front of the Lord and he's blessed me so much, surely he won't punish me for this one little thing?
I like to think that there is a fine line between confidence and pride. Confidence is humble, while pride is self-seeking. When you're confident, you're confident that through God you can achieve anything. That's the humble part, putting God first. When you're prideful, it's all about you. I get it, sometimes, I'm my own favorite subject - I'm so talented, smart, creative and a dozen other favorable traits. But, who am I kidding? None of that is me, it's all God's grace and blessings. The sooner I realize this, the sooner I'll stop falling, and the sooner God can reveal what He's preparing me for.
I'm sure it's frustrating for God to keep waiting for me to get back every time I fall off my high-thinking ways. The phrase, "It's not you, it's me"? Brand it in your mind. Because it's not you, it's God.