Humility leads to Wholeness

In our 8th week into our latest series, Stories of God, Callie and Jeff Bradley share their testimony of how they received news of Jeff becoming unemployed, while at the same time trying to navigate doctors visits and results for their son, Mason. If you haven’t watched the sermon from this past Sunday, click here. Ryan based the message on the passage Isaiah 6:1-8. Isaiah has an encounter with God, but the little details of the text are what really makes this encounter so relatable to every person. To understand the context, you have to understand the status of Israel during the time of this passage. The Israelites had previously dealt with extremely godless, harsh and overall bad rulers. There would be a few good ones every so often, such as King David or King Solomon, but for the most part, things hadn’t always been great. Then, a 16 year old boy named Uzziah tales rule over their nation. He sought the Lord in his ruling, and the Israelites began to prosper. (2 Chronicles 26:5) He built cities, invented weaponry, ruled a huge army, built aqueducts, and so on. But, just like every ruler before him, after 52 years of things going great for Israel, he begins to become proud. He enters the temple of the Lord and disregards it’s holiness. He is non-coincidentally struck with leprosy, and dies soon after. 52 years of prosperity flew out the window the moment he died. Why? Because the people of Israel depended on this man for everything: peace, comfort, security and safety. This is where we pick up in the text, Verse one says, “In the year King Uzziah died…” This means that Israel was in shambles, because the person they had depended on for everything was gone. It wasn’t just Israel who is guilty of it, either. Every human being is guilty of putting things on a pedestal that isn’t God. We put our whole lives, energy and hope into things that are malleable and vulnerable. It is sometimes large-scale, for instance, how our nation was rocked by the death of JFK, or the attacks on 9/11. Our nations status in the world was our comfort, and when it was threatened, we panicked. This could also apply on a more personal level. What about our marriages? Our spouse is who we depend on for comfort and love, when we aren’t even promised another day with them. What about our kids? We have such a tendency to invest every ounce of our time and energy into our kids, and we put God on the back burner, when He is the one who loaned our children to us in the first place. None of these things are promised to stay with us forever. Our nation won’t always be on top, our kids won’t always live at home, our spouses won’t always be around to comfort us. We aren’t entitled to invincibility. When, not if, these things we have falsely put our hope in disappear, it will break us. This is why God designed everything to put Him first. Even creation longs for the Lord. (Psalm 66:4) He wants us to look up to him, even at rock bottom. When Isaiah encounters God in the text, he’s on his knees, repenting of his sins and lifting his hands to the Lord. This is where God wants us. As Ryan said in the sermon, “Tribulations always lead to revelations.” When we have nowhere else to look, God is there, singing and dancing above us, proving His sovereignty. Everything is in His hands, He is just waiting for you to realize it. Sometimes, it takes us hitting rock bottom to realize it. Or we can stop where we are in life, take whatever our “King Uzziah” that we trust and depend on, and surrender it to the Lord. This shift of our focus is a game-changer. We no longer look around at the chaos around us, but instead we desire gospel living, to have God first, and give every part of our hearts to Him. Psalm 51:17 says, “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” He desires us to look at Him in all situations, not depending on anyone, anything or ourselves. Take the King Uzziahs in your life, and lay them down at the feet of the God who wants nothing more than to be your number one.

 

Blessings!

 

-Kinley Hurt