Summary: Are you making progress in your walk with God?
INTRO: A stranger was walking down a residential street and noticed a man struggling with a washing machine at the doorway of his house. When the newcomer volunteered to help, the homeowner was overjoyed, and the two men together began to work and struggle with the bulky appliance. After several minutes of fruitless effort the two stopped and just stared at each other in frustration. They looked as if they were on the verge of total exhaustion.
Finally, when they had caught their breath, the first man said to the homeowner, “We’ll never get this washing machine in there!” to which the homeowner replied, “In? I’m trying to move it out of here!”
-There are times we feel this in our life with the Lord. We’re pulling this way and the Lord pushing that way and there is no progress. We’re putting in tremendous amounts of energy only to find ourselves exhausted at the end of the day.
-We wake up the next day only to start the battle all over again. On and on it goes and at the end of the day still there is no progress.
Thought: It is a day wasted if we don’t make progress in our relationship with the Lord.
TITLE: Are You Making Progress?
TEXT: 2 Chronicles 26:5
I. Background. The nation of Israel has split into the two kingdoms, the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.
A. King Uzziah became king at the ripe old age of 16 years.
1. His given name was Azariah which literally means “Jehovah has helped.” But when he became king he took the throne name Uzziah which means “Jehovah is strength.”
2. Uzziah was a good king. The Bible says he did right in the eyes of the Lord just as his father had done. He started well but finished poorly.
B. He followed his father. Some characteristics of his dad (Amaziah):
-Came to the throne at a relatively early age.
-He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly. He followed the Lord partly.
-He did some great things for God.
-He stumbled and worshiped some foreign gods.
-Judgment came on him from God.
-Became arrogant and proud after great victory.
-He finished poorly, he turned away from the Lord.
C. Uzziah followed in his father’s footsteps.
1. He came to the throne at an early age. The Lord blessed him. He did right in the eyes of the Lord.
-As long as he sought the Lord, the Lord gave him success.
2. The Lord gave him victory over his enemies; he gained some of the enemies’ territory. He became very powerful and popular. As a result Uzziah became very proud and arrogant.
-The Bible says his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord.
3. He was so proud that he wanted to change God’s order of doing things. He wanted to burn incense on the altar. This was the priest’s job but he barged in and wanted to do it himself. As a result of not following God’s order, judgment came and he was stricken with leprosy for the rest of his life.
4. Living in isolation the rest of your life because of disobedience.
II. When you think about progress – there is nothing worse than battling year after year to make some progress and then wake up one day to find you lost it all, or even worse you’re farther back than when you started.
-Keys to continue our progress with the Lord.
A. To seek him. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.
1. Sought means to inquire of or yearn for. If I want success in my life I need to “inquire” of the Lord, to search into his ways.
a. There are many reasons why we don’t search into the ways of God (lazy, not interested, but I personally believe it comes down to - I really don’t want to know because if I don’t know I don’t have to obey).
Example. Like telling your child to take out the trash - oh I didn’t hear you when you confront them later on why they didn’t take it out. It’s an amazing thing though when they want to go out and you talked about it last week, they will remember every last detail and nuance of the discussion. It’s called selective hearing. I hear what I want to hear from God.
b. In his best-selling book, Say It With Love, Dr. Howard Hendricks tells of an 83-year old woman whom he and two other conference leaders happened to meet during a Sunday School convention at Moody Church in Chicago.
In the course of their conversation, they discovered that she was a teacher of thirteen junior high boys in a Sunday School of fifty-five attendees. She was asked why she was attending the convention.