Monday, December 24th, 2012
Fifteen Minutes Of Fame (Part 4)
Pulled Off Stage
Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king... As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.
2 Chronicles 26:3,5 (NIV)
His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall.
2 Chronicles 26:15-16 (NIV)
While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord's temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead... King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house--leprous, and banned from the temple of the Lord.
2 Chronicles 26:19,21 (NIV)
Many of God's stars were cast in big roles when they were young: stars like Joseph, David, and Daniel. But their training periods were lengthy. By the time they walked on the stages of their destinies, they were mature men. Including Jesus.
King Uzziah of Jerusalem was an exception, assuming the throne when he was sixteen. Things started well, and God made him prosper. But somewhere along the way, he got full of himself and forgot the Source of his power: God. (The same thing happened to Satan.)
Unfortunately for Uzziah, he was pulled off stage and put into seclusion with leprosy. Unfortunately for Satan, he and his supporting cast were pulled off Heaven's playbill and put into exile--permanently. Unfortunately for us, his exile is here--temporarily.
But God always has a good plan, and His Hero always wins--as will His supporting cast.
Many of earth's stars were cast in big roles when they were young, and I hesitate to mention their names. Like Uzziah, they got pulled off stage into various unfortunate outcomes. The list of child and teen casualties is long enough to fill more than a few TV shows. And we have seen them. They burned out early.
Ironically, they are the blessed ones. Because for many successful people, only when we fall to our knees from our manmade heights can we lower our heads and raise our arms in surrender. Only when we are broken can God fill us.
'And he who falls on this Stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever It falls, It will scatter him like dust' (Matthew 21:44). Some of us need a lot of breaking, because we have risen by the arms (or backs) of men. Others raised in the faith may only need rough edges smoothed.
But in either case, both require time off stage--whether it's a nighttime of prayer, a month of retreat, or a lifetime of reeducation--even in the school of hard knocks.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fifteen Minutes Of Fame series.