Monday, August 1, 2011


     The million dollar question is, "what is harder, getting success or maintaining it?".  I wish I had the answer, but I don't. Depending on whom you speak with, answers will vary from one to another. Perhaps they are equally difficult. Perhaps a Corporate CEO could write a book (and probably already has) about Secular Success and how to maintain it, but for Spiritual Success the prescription is in our Text.  Verse 5 of 2 Chronicles 26 "As long as he (Uzziah) sought the Lord, God gave him success."  I've never quite climbed to the top or had any kind of great success (at least from my point of view) but I would imagine once achieved that I would continue to seek God for his guidance and counsel, but I don't know, statistics show I might not...who knows until you're there.  We know some do (continue to seek God's guidance and help) and many do not.  Uzziah falls right in line with the stats of the many "who do not".
     Pride is a stronger force than we realize. We are ignorant to it's power as we are ignorant of many of the natural elements of life.  The Ocean, lakes and large bodies of water are so beautiful, but how many lives has it taken. I was recently out swimming with a youth group that I took out from our church and I ended up spending my afternoon trying to make sure nobody drowned, as there were no lifeguards at the location we swam at and the water goes very deep. I know what it is like to almost drown in deep water and I have also saved a life of someone drowning in deep water. The issue is always, "I can swim", but that's not the issue.  Most people who drown are people who can swim, not people who can't. Most people who can't swim stay out of the water or don't dare to venture out into the deep.  It's the people who can swim who venture out, not knowing how merciless the water is, who drown.  When do they drown? It's normally a combination of two factors.  First, when they venture out into the deep and Second, when they run out of strength to uphold themselves; then they sink like a rock! Success (is the deep) and Pride (is the water)  are as dangerous if not more, than deep waters. I was almost angered by the ignorance of these boys as they raced out to the deep not sparing any energy to swim back to the shore. So I gathered as many floating devices as I could and swam out with them to the deep and don't you know every single one was used on the way back to shore.  As we strive for success in anything in life we have to remember that going out for success is like going out into deep waters, something better sustain you when you get there or you will drown.  "No I will not", you say and those are always the first to drown.  The most confident and cocky swimmer I had that day was the one who's life I probably saved, if any. 
     As long as Uzziah was a little shaky about his abilities, a little insecure about his own abilities he did well. He sought God and stayed alive. Success caused Uzziah to become self reliant, prideful and arrogant and something much more powerful, than he could ever imagine took him out.  Water is a powerful force and a human being is no match for water. A human being will lose every time in a fight against water and a human being will lose every time in his/her fight against pride; except for divine intervention. 
     Are you at the top, have you achieved some level of success, beware, cause you can swallow water, lose energy and drown in literally minutes. Over confidence will kill you, continue to seek God, continue to depend on him and then you will have God at your side, even as I was at the side of this young boy, and when you begin to sink he (God) will be there for you to reach out to even as I was there for the young boy when he realized he wasn't going to make it back to shore after all.