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Many people try to operate within the kingdom by . . . self-exaltation. Tragically, some succeed in this way. - T. W. Hunt
BEWARE OF SELF-EXALTATION
Once you reach God’s best and see victory you can be tempted to take credit for the obstacles overcome and the battles won, instead of giving the credit to God. This selfish behavior is known as self-exaltation, and it is one of the last inner challenges to manifest itself and to be overcome. Martin Collins elaborates on self-exaltation stating,
The self-exalted person is he “who thinks he stands” on his own merits. Self-exaltation is an excessively intensified sense of well-being, power, or importance. At its worst it is self-tribute, self-praise, self-honoring, self-glorifying and self-worshipping. It overtly breaks the first three commandments by placing oneself as more important than God . . . Ironically, in our quest for self-exaltation, in the end we receive the opposite of our intended goal of personal glory; our quest ultimately results in shame.
It would be tragic to persevere through thick and thin and finally reach God’s best, only to be disqualified and lose it all because you wanted all the glory. Once you reach the place where God is calling then you need to be sure that you refuse to take credit. After all the Lord has done to see you through, He deserves to receive the glory, and you must be sure to praise and magnify His holy name.
THE LORD BRINGS THE VICTORY
The Lord cautioned His people about trying to take glory for what He had done. God would be the one to secure their place in the Promised Land; and the Lord began His instruction by reminding the Israelites of Who would ultimately bring about the victory:
Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, “Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?”
Therefore understand today that the Lord your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the Lord has said to you (Deuteronomy 9:1-3).
The Israelites were standing on the border of Canaan forty years after they had refused to conquer the land for fear of the inhabitants. This time it was the children who were overlooking the land, for the parents had all perished in the wilderness - except for Joshua and Caleb.
The Lord extended a battle cry and a word of encouragement that they would indeed overtake nations stronger and more populated than they were. They were informed of how they would even defeat the giants (Nm 13:33) from which their parents had fled.
How would they be able to defeat their foes so easily? Not by their own might, for the Lord would go into Canaan ahead of them as a consuming fire, breaking down spiritual strongholds (2 Cor 10:4) and the forces of darkness, thereby weakening the inhabitants of the land. The Lord would also cause chaos, confusion and mass pandemonium among their enemies so they would be unprepared when the Israelites invaded.
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