Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The danger of Success.

Are you drunken with success? Is the knowledge that you have it all intoxicating you? If it is then you need to know that when you've really won big, it's easy to let down, get overconfident, or just get careless. When you've been the champion for a while, you tend to coast, and suddenly you're not the champion anymore. That doesn't just happen in sports, it happens in life. In fact, it has happened many times in the Bible; like what happened to the Jewish king Uzziah (II Chr. 26). We can conclude from that story that a season of success in your life may actually be the most dangerous season of all. Uzziah led his nation to new levels of economic prosperity, military dominance, and international respect. The Bible says, "As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success”. Notice, God gave him success; success is not your achievement. It's God's gift.
If you read down the chapter, you will see that Uzziah’s fame spread far and wide; he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall." What follows is the tragic account of a king who becomes arrogant, self-willed, a man who starts doing it His way, not God's way; and ultimately a man who dies the horrible death of leprosy.

This story is, unfortunately, not unique. The truth is that very few of us are able to handle success. If you're experiencing a time of success and pretty smooth sailing right now, it's important to realize that you may be in the spiritual danger zone. When you're flying high, it's all too easy to forget how you got there. Or, more importantly, who got you there. The ancient Jews were given a solemn warning from God when they went from the wilderness to the wealth of the Promised Land: "Be careful that you do not forget the Lord." And, sure enough, they did.

So if this is a good season of your life, don't ruin it by getting careless. Have you allowed your success to inflate you?
Are you thinking, "Hey, I'm really something" instead of "He's really something"?
Have you moved from the desperate praying of the hard times to less frequent, less fervent prayers now that you're in the good times?
Have you started to rely on your gifts, your cleverness, your experience or your strength instead of what you once did - totally depending on God?
Are you becoming more self-focused?
Are you taking more things into your own hands instead of leaving them in God's hands?

Those are some of the great dangers of success. Don't make God remind you that He is the source of everything you've got, because success that costs you the blessing of your Lord is simply success that you can't afford.Remember that to be better off is not to be better.

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