July 8 (Daily reading: 2 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 26) My active ministry as pastor and missionary was fifty-two years, which was the same duration as Uzziah’s reign as king. I compared my ministry to his reign as I read 2 Chronicles 26. We were both young when we began, and it was important to have people to look up to. “He did right in the sight of the LORD according to all that his father Amaziah had done” (v. 4). Amaziah was not perfect, and the same is true of my dad, but I learned to trust God as I watched him deal with difficult circumstances in his ministry.
Another verse is enlightening: “He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him” (v. 5). Uzziah followed the counsel of a prophet named Zechariah (not the prophet from the book of Zechariah). This prophet understood visions that God gave, and he apparently had great influence on Uzziah. He kept Uzziah seeking the will of the LORD, which was the reason for his success as king. I discovered for myself that when my ministry was based on seeking God, it was fruitful! When I did things on my own, not so much so. My ministry was helped by many “Zechariahs” that God used to reveal Himself and His purposes to me. This included a mother who prayed for me every day.
Even so, I struggled with pride as Uzziah did: “But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God” (v. 16). The word “corrupt” is strong language, but that is the end result when we try to succeed by serving God in our own strength and by our own abilities. God has shown this to me many times in my ministry.
– Al Gary