My Bible reading plan currently has me walking through Kings and Chronicles. If you’ve ever read through these books, you know that Israel/Judah had no shortage of awful kings. While there are good (yet flawed) kings like David, Solomon, and Hezekiah, there are many more that fell far short. These Kings fell short for numerous reasons. Some married poorly, others listened to poor advice, and many got caught up in the ways of the world. An especially interesting king, for me, was King Uzzaiah. He became King at only sixteen years old and started well: “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 26:4). Yet, soon enough, he wandered off the path. This doesn’t sound to dissimilar to the experience of many Christians. We accept Christ and are on fire for Him, yet somewhere along the line our fire starts burning out. How can we keep the fire burning?
But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.17 But Azariah the priest went in after him, with eighty priests of the Lord who were men of valor, 18 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. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the Lord God.” 19 Then Uzziah was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and when he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of the Lord, by the altar of incense. 20 And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead! And they rushed him out quickly, and he himself hurried to go out, because the Lord had struck him. 2 Chronicles 26:16-20.
How did King Uzzaiah’s fire go out? It started when he started relying only in his own strength. That’s a problem many of us men run into. We buy into this worldly belief that what matters is that we are strong and capable of handling everything in our own. Toilet broken? We can fix it. Car won’t start? We can fix it. Lost trying to find somewhere? We can find it. We start relying chiefly on our own strength and stop relying on God. The more we do this, the more our fire weakens. If we are going to keep the fire burning we need to remember to rely on God and not our own strength. We need to seek Him in prayer, seek His guidance in Scripture, and rely on His Spirit. Men, start trusting more in our amazing God and not on your own strength and keep the fire burning.