Sometimes God leads you to a mountaintop. It’s beautiful on the peak. Not a cloud in the sky, light breeze, bright blue sky, maybe even a rainbow from the aftermath of a recent storm. Visibility is great as you take in the breathtaking mountain range singing songs of majesty, opulence, strength and position.
Then something shifts. You’re still on the peak, so why do you suddenly feel sad? Anxious? Angry? You shouldn’t feel this way, right? Shame creeps in. I’ll just push it down, you think. You see a higher mountain across the valley. I’ll keep climbing to new heights. Maybe it’s brighter over there.
Anyone experienced times like this? I know I have! And so did Isaiah, right before experiencing the greatest breakthrough of his life. The problem wasn’t sadness or anger; those were just symptoms. It was something far simpler. Resolving it meant walking through some pain, but then he would get to see the glory of Heaven on earth. So how did he get there? Let me give you a little background.
FALLING FROM THE PEAK
Isaiah lived during a time when King Uzziah reigned. Uzziah inherited a good kingdom from his dad, and followed after his obedience to the ways of God. His pursuit of the Lord was evident in the blessing over his life. You could see it in Uzziah’s creativity, wisdom, and the way he raised up an Army. He even won battles because of his ingenuity in the art of war, creating a catapult that was far ahead of his day (2 Chr 26:15).
People knew him, and could see the favor on his life. Then there was a shift…
Pride crept in at the peak of his strength. People started talking about how great he was, looking to him rather than God. It went to his head! One day, Uzziah forced himself into the Holy place to burn incense; a place where only the high priests were allowed. As a result, God struck him with leprosy, and he lived in isolation and shame.
Uzziah’s name means the “strength of Yahweh.” But when he started operating in his own strength after becoming overextended, he didn’t even notice the pride coming in until the grace was gone. In one moment, Uzziah goes from thriving in God’s blessing to stepping outside of his anointing, no longer effective in his sphere of influence.
STEPPING BACK INTO YOUR CALLING
In the first few chapters of Isaiah—at this time when King Uzziah had stepped outside of his calling—we can see and almost feel Isaiah’s pain through his prophecies. They focused on diagnosing the situation, exposing it, and expressing doom and gloom to the people of his day. But God didn’t officially call Isaiah to be a prophet until Isaiah 6, when King Uzziah died.
Isaiah had stepped outside of his calling as a prophet to prophesy the things he saw with his earthly eyes. But when the king died, Isaiah had one of the most powerful encounters of his life with the living God (we will focus more on this encounter next week). It changed the way he would prophesy forever.
But first he had to realize that he couldn’t do it on his own. He needed God’s joy and wisdom to see people through the eyes of love.
When your greatest strength becomes overextended, it often becomes your greatest weakness.
So how do you recognize those areas where you’ve stepped outside of God’s anointing? Your “Uzziahs”? What are those areas that look like spirit but smell like flesh?
HOW TO KILL YOUR UZZIAHS
Prioritize your Identity:
When your sonship stands in front of every other “ship” (leadership, friendship, etc), you are safe. Simply be a child. Ask Jesus, “Who do You say that I am?” Are you a son before you’re a prophet or businessman or teacher? When our position, job, or anything else starts to become our identity, we get excited about the gifts and toys instead of the Giver Himself. The very blessings we believe we’re going to receive end up being the things that take us away from the One who blessed us.
Remind yourself of who you are every morning. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. You have already impressed your Father more than you could imagine, and there is nothing more you could do that would make Him love you more.
Understand your Assignment:
Often, when there are cracks in our foundations, Papa God lets circumstances come in to expose them. He chooses to allow this so you can get back on track and reconnect with Him. He wants you to succeed in partnership with Him. If you haven’t identified the things that need to die, invite Him to expose those cracks, those areas where you’ve stepped outside of His anointing for this season.
He may have called you to one thing in the last season, but now the anointing is shifting. Be sensitive to these shifts and humble enough to change course. Once you know your assignment, stay in it and recognize the things that fall outside of it. You cannot use yesterday’s anointing for today’s assignment.
Cultivate your New Upgrade:
Now I’m able to repent for those Uzziahs and put them to rest for good. Celebrate this success! You didn’t bury the pain, but chose to walk through it with Him. You’ll start to notice Papa God taking your shame away. Build memory stones around this experience. We forget so quickly when trials arise. When you meditate on the upgrade and remind yourself daily, your mind is renewed and you can truly step into the upgrade.
Once we’ve killed our Uzziahs, fill those areas with something new; the upgrade the Lord has for you. They often try to resurrect themselves in the future when we leave a void. Fight for your upgrade! If you feel the pressure returning, give something up through prayer and fasting so you know what you’re truly hungry for.
It’s an ongoing process to cultivate an environment that connects you to an open Heaven. But it’s worth the journey. Every problem you’re facing on this earth can be found in the face of God. Sometimes things need to die in your life before you can have the encounters you’re seeking.
What are some things you need to let go of in this season?