A recipe for success?

Faith & Inspiration

How would you like to be a CEO of a major enterprise at 16? Power, money, and influence-and the time to enjoy it all. On top of all that, throw in the best, godliest, and wisest instructor that society could produce and a role-model father to follow. What do you have?

Most of us would say a recipe for the perfect life, asking what could possibly go wrong? The answer is both revealing and instructional. This was a formula for power and early success, a brew that produced destructive pride and ultimate dishonor. You can read about this character in 2 Chronicles 26, a king named Uzziah. The passage says that after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was "unfaithful."

This passage has application to each of us as individuals and collectively as a nation. Many may ask, "Why has God kept me from being rich, powerful, or influential?" The answer may very well be the grace of God that protects us from the very real danger of success.

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Money, power, and influence come with a price, and often we are not prepared or capable of handling the responsibilities and the risks that accompany these gifts. It is for this reason that a wise man with money, power, and influence recognizes his need for the wisdom of God, for without it he runs great risk. A fool says in his own heart "There is no God." May we all thank God that He has not made us more successful and wealthy than we can handle.

The same principles apply to a nation. A nation without money, power, or influence has little risk of causing much mischief. God has protected its citizens from great pride and great failure. But a nation with much achievement is at great risk to succumb to national pride and a spectacular downfall. And a young nation with early and significant successes is doubly in jeopardy. Add to that the foolishness of believing that there is no need for God and His wisdom to sustain that nation, and what have you now? I believe the Bible speaks to this as well:

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).

As individuals in a young successful nation, may we thank God for His many blessings, and may we pray for the remnant in our nation that they may never abandon the wisdom of God.

Bill Newton
Bill Newton

Bill is a pastor based in Asheville, N.C. He also serves as a member of God's World Publications' board of directors.


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