THE ARROGANCE OF THE ANOINTED
It is a great privilege for us to know God; each one of us is born of God. We are not here by accident. We were redeemed, restored and forgiven when we put our faith in Jesus Christ. We were born-again, born as a child, spiritually speaking. Now it is for us to grow in the knowledge and grace of God by taking in our spiritual food! Otherwise, our growth is a stunted one and we remain as a child still and are no better than a slave! That’s what the word of God says. "Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all" (Gal.4:1).
Now isn’t that sad? A master, yet no different from a slave? The infallible, ever-faithful word of God says that! That we are no different from a slave, if we do not grow up. So the question is, how are you to grow up? And if you do grow up, not only will you prosper, but you will have good success. The word of God says, "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success" (Josh.1:8).
Psalm 1 too says the same, "Blessed (happy) is the man... (whose) delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper." And through tests and trials and challenges, we grow, for we have our Helper, the Holy Spirit. I know if I ask you, "Did you read the Word of God today?" many would say "Yes." And if I ask, "Did you meditate on His Word?" Some would affirm it. But if I ask, "Did you memorise the Word of God today?," only a few would aver. You see, the bread of heaven will not fall from heaven. It is given to you, to use it, to put it into your mind and take it to heart and that will have a strong influence in your spirit. And you will have the right response to every test and trial in your life. Through stormy paths, you will strongly proclaim "The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?"
I remember, just after our marriage, when we were teaching Sunday School children, we always encouraged them to memorise Scriptures; knowing we too had done the same and it was still fresh in our hearts. You too must have His Word in your hearts; otherwise you will be running from pillar to post, looking for direction, looking for counsel and looking for a prophetic word. Maybe, you will switch on God TV, Daystar and other channels, and look for an answer to your situations...
No, I’m not saying these channels are bad and I am not against such television channels; I thank God for such programmes. But you must understand that prophecy comes not as direction, but only as a confirmation to what God has already spoken to you. And for that you must have the Word of God in you.
One of the problems in the body of Christ is that people look up to a person to guide them always. People would have seen God using that person, and so believe in them; they know that the person is anointed and so they leave their family, take decisions based on what they see and hear from him. At some point of time, arrogance takes over and the person goes about doing whatever he wishes, commanding and intimidating others. Still God blesses the word spoken by the person, although He may not bless that person.
You see, Balaam was rebuked by a donkey, yet he continued in the path to error in arrogance to prophesy against the children of Israel! That is why I say that prophecy should only be as confirmation to what God has spoken to you in your heart and not as the direction. "Those who are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." We should not be led by any human being, for then we are still children and are no better than a slave.
- We must know that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us.
- We must know that Christ is in us, the hope of glory.
- We must know that we are led by the Spirit of God as we are sons of God.
Vision Of Isaiah
Isaiah 6:1-10 gives this account of the Vision of Isaiah the prophet. Read this passage. Here was the prophet Isaiah, and the people of God living in the shadow of King Uzziah. There were no visions, no prophecies. As long as Uzziah was king, it seems that Isaiah saw only the throne of King Uzziah. If you too look at the man sitting on the throne, you will have no revelation or visions. We must know this in ourselves, "Who is reigning, ruling and sitting on the throne of your heart? Is it ‘I’ and the self, or is it the Lord Jesus Christ?"
If it is ‘I’, then we are on the path to arrogance, however anointed we may be! Yes, ‘I’ was once ruling in my own life; I was the captain of my own soul before I came to Jesus, independent, and yes, maybe a ‘good’ person in the eyes of the world. But because I did what was right in my sight, arrogance ruled in my heart. But now, I have come under His authority. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. If I now try to be the captain of my own soul, I walk the way of arrogance.
King Uzziah started very well indeed. We read about it in 2 Chronicles 26: 3 onwards, "Uzziah was 16 years old when he became king, and he reigned 52 years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. 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."
"The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it" (Pro.10:22). But remember this, "As long as you seek the Lord, God will make you prosper." That is what is written about Uzziah. It is amazing, that one so young took hold of the reins to kingship and prospered. It seems that Uzziah must have been one of the wisest kings of Judah, probably next only to Solomon. "So his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvellously helped till he became strong" (2Chro. 26:15).
If you too seek God, even if you are young and inexperienced, there will be marvellous help around you to make you strong; yes, and you will prosper. This is what happened with me too. God lifted me up. All I did was to seek after Him, and He made me prosper.
Then came the turning point in king Uzziah’s life. We read about it from verse 16 onwards. "But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. So Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him were 80 priests of the Lord, valiant men. And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, ‘It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honour from the Lord God.’ Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the Lord, beside the incense altar."
What a shame for such a wise man! King Uzziah’s heart was lifted up with pride; then came the fall. Pride had blinded his eyes. He thought he could do anything that others could do. But do you want to know, my child, what your calling is? What is your assignment? Are you caught trespassing on other’s assignments, because you thought you were anyway ‘anointed’? Do you want to show how much ‘better’ you can do it? Stop trespassing!
King Uzziah became a leper from that day, and he died a leper, all because of one sin- trespass. And as long as he lived, there were no prophetic utterances, no visions; everything just dried up. It was as if the heavens were shut.
If it is ‘self’ ruling in your hearts, and you want to do ‘good’ things as you please, you are still the captain of your own soul. Pride holds you, and arrogance leads you to the inevitable pitfall--you are becoming a stranger with God. Communication with Him is cut off--no voice; no vision. And God has to wait until ‘I’ dies in us, to speak to us in visions.
"He (Jesus) said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven’" (Matt.16:15,16).
Imagine Peter, the only one among the disciples at that time having the revelation from God the Father! I can imagine his heart being lifted up; for when Jesus predicted His death and talked to His disciples. "Then Peter took Him (Jesus) aside and began to rebuke Him, saying ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!’" Jesus had to rebuke Peter in return, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offence to Me" (Matt.16:22,23).
Ah! The arrogance of the anointed Peter! The same thing happens even today. God has a plan for each one of our lives, and when it is revealed to you, and you share it with the so-called ‘man of God’ let it not become a trap for you from fulfilling God’s plan. Firstly, don’t let ‘I’ sit on the throne of your hearts! Secondly, don’t put any other ‘man-of-God’ on the throne!
What is the solution then? "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Lk.9:23). Jesus needs all of you, not a part of you. Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." And so, our lives become an offering, and our bodies a living sacrifice to Him and Him alone. Only Jesus! And Uzziah has to die in us!
God had to wait till the death of Uzziah, and then Isaiah saw the vision, of not any human king on the throne, but the glorious King on the throne! Isaiah saw this and we need to see this in our lives too. Firstly, the vision of the King.
1.Vision of Christ sitting on the throne. The seraphim cried to one another "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts!"
2.Conviction. That I am a sinner. i) ‘a man of unclean lips’--conviction about unclean communication, and ii) ‘dwell among people of unclean lips’--conviction about unclean companions. People who always murmur and complain.
Years ago, I too made the mistake of thinking that whoever held the Holy Bible was worthy of companionship. Later, when I found them no different from those in the world--always complaining about one another, backbiting, gossiping. They go even to the extent of saying, "I am so burdened for that brother/sister. They have done such and such sinful things. Please keep this to yourself and pray for them."
God spoke to me thus, "Don’t look at them. Look into the Word of God for your own growth." Years ago I had a precious letter written to me with these words, "God has a plan for you to prosper you and show you great and marvellous things. Consider yourself a dead person to this world; for when Jesus died, you too died, and a dead person feels no pinpricks. Do you want to be free of anguish of what others backbite? Consider yourself dead. Otherwise, you will be like a child; always with problems, problems and more problems. God has called us to be sons and not slaves." 3. Confession. Because of the conviction comes the confession.
4.Cleansing. Just as the live coal cleansed the lips of Isaiah, we have the cleansing by the blood of Jesus Christ. Do you realise all this is a favour of God, from conviction to confession to cleansing, the unmerited favour of God to each one of us? Faith fills our steps, and we walk in obedience. Joy fills our hearts and we sing, "Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee."
5.Calling. Realise the unique call of our Lord God to you. God said, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us?" God is waiting for us to respond, to be willing to do His will. Isaiah was ready, and he said, "Here am I, send me." Now how do you respond? "Here am I, Lord, but send my brother. I am busy"? You will be surprised at the number of people doing just that, "Here am I and here I will be!" But what matters to God is "Are you available?"
6. Commission. Finally the commission, "Go and tell this people." If you read the verses in Isaiah, the message was not a pleasant one. It may not be in your case too. But if you take a step in obedience, the whole of heaven will back you. Whatever be the problem, it is not insurmountable!
There was the vision of the Christ revealed when he looked upward; there was his condition revealed when he looked inward; and finally there was the commission revealed when he looked outward. That is the order of things with God. "Look Up, look In and look Out & Live."
God is calling us to take the Uzziah out of us. Whatever that be, it has to be done. Then we will see the King. You are commissioned for a time like this. Even in the Early Church, "with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all" (Acts 4:33).