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Leading people into a maturing new life in Jesus Christ

You Are My Praise

Uzziah was sixteen years old when crowned king of Judah. “He set himself to seek God … and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper. …  But when he was strong, he grew proud … and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar” (2 Chronicles 26:5, 16).

Such a history repeats itself in the lives of people and religious organizations over and over and over. A sharply focused vision —born out of a singular love for God— gives way to a sense of self-accomplishment and reliance upon our own strength, intelligence, and ingenuity. Humans begin to take credit from other humans for things only God can do.

Eventually, however, we begin to realize that external progress appears to be slowing. Continued success, however it is defined within the life-context of the individual or organization, begins to falter. The growth-record no longer looks as good.

So we take things into our own hands, just like Uzziah did. We attempt to manipulate God by doing things God has never designed for us to do. Or even worse, we redefine success by our own standards, rather than God’s, so we can receive the approval of others.
God himself is no longer our singular vision and our praise. Instead, the outward accomplishment of the mission has replaced inward passion and vision of the One true-and-living God. We become caught in the web of a visionless and vain pursuit of human goals at the expense personal devotion to the Giver of life.

The solution to such a misappropriated priority is found in the cry of the prophet Jeremiah. “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise” (17:14, italics added).

How desperately we twenty-first century followers of Jesus need healing-salvation, what we refer to at Edmonds Adventist Church as “a maturing new life in Jesus Christ.”

I am asking myself: Am I willing to pursue God with every dimension of my being? Is the great and eternal God becoming my only vision, my only devotion? Is Jesus my praise? Is he my passion?

Contributed by Pastor Larry Zuchowski

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