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An Exhortation to Leaders in the Church Matt Chandler at Driscoll’s Resurgence Conference 2013, Part 2

( [email protected] ) Nov 06, 2013 12:45 PM EST
The fall of King Uzziah was very great; the once meager king had grown in strength and in competency as he leaned on the Lord for help, yet it seems he started to take credit for his achievements along the way. 2 Chronicles 26:15b-16 says:
Matt Chandler speaking at The Resurgence Conference 2013. The Resurgence Conference 2013

An Exhortation to Leaders in the Church Matt Chandler at Driscoll's Resurgence Conference 2013, Part I

The fall of King Uzziah was very great; the once meager king had grown in strength and in competency as he leaned on the Lord for help, yet it seems he started to take credit for his achievements along the way. 2 Chronicles 26:15b-16 says:

"And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, til he was strong. But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction" (English Standard Version).

King Uzzuah had been marvelously helped by God because of his weakness, Chandler says, and he ironically became proud has the Lord gifted and strengthened him. One day, the king went into the temple and burned incense to the Lord, an act that was reserved for the Levite priests alone. When a priest confronted him about his error, Uzziah grew angry. The Lord then struck him with leprosy because he refused to humble himself before the priest; King Uzziah instead became angry for being rebuked by a man of little accomplishment - an indication, Pastor Matt says, that his heart had grown proud.

The king had lost his self-awareness, and he likely believed that his grand accomplishments gave him worthiness to do what he pleased in the house of the Lord; unfortunately, the rebuke from the lowly priest ignited prideful anger in Uzziah's heart, instead of repentance. Chandler took this passage as a warning to leaders, whom God has blessed with gifts and talents for His glory, not to forget Who has made them strong and for what purpose their ministry may be flourishing.

King Uzziah should have repented and continued to walk in the fear of the Lord, Pastor Matt says. He confessed that he too often has a self-righteous reaction to rebukes from people he does not respect, whereas being confronted by a loved and well-respected brother in the faith will usually bring him to humble repentance. Chandler is thankful that God has convicted him of this sin, and that His love and care for him leads Him to reveal pride in Matt's heart through using lowly people to point out his weaknesses.

"Guard your heart, for it's the wellspring of life," Chandler says. He pleads with preachers to guard against self-reliance and confidence in their giftings, and to remember that it is the Holy Spirit alone Who can save - "I'm well aware that if anything changes in your heart today, a miracle happened," he says. He prayed for God to give leaders the fear of the Lord and to keep them from stumbling.

Pastor Mattt closed with several exhortations - he encouraged preachers and ministry leaders to hope for big things, to pray for God to do the impossible, to work hard, and to believe that He can do all things. Then, he says, let the Lord do what only He can do - "Dream big, believe, work hard ... God is able."

Chandler's ultimate warning is against pride, especially among gifted leaders in the church; he pleads for a humble reliance on the Lord instead - "We need weak men, who in their weakness become strong," he says.