But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to YHWH his God, and entered the temple of YHWH to burn incense on the altar of incense. – 2 Chronicles 26:16
Paul once wrote that God’s strength was perfected (or made complete) in his (Paul’s) own weakness. In other words, Paul’s inadequacies, failings, and human frailty created the necessary space for God’s strength to be revealed in all its glory. Those whom Paul sought to reach for the Messiah, could clearly see the Savior because they saw less of the Apostle.
Uzziah was an effective king of Israel, but began to believe in his own abilities apart from God’s presence and power. As Uzziah grew strong, he also grew arrogant, and it led him to act in ways that clearly revealed an ignorance of his own limitations. For the sake of a nation, Uzziah’s course had to be corrected and he was struck with a debilitating “flesh thorn” of his own to bring him back in line.
Self-sufficiency is very “Western” (and human), but when it comes to God’s service, it is also very dangerous. Truly, no man or woman is an island. We must be very wary of the attitude that creeps in during times of prosperity that says, “Look how strong I am.” Such an attitude in the heart of a Christ-follower demands a correction and, be assured, one is coming.
To put it kindly, we must either cultivate a humble spirit or have the Lord place one (abruptly) upon us.
Every now and again, Our Lord lets us see what we would be like if it were not for Himself; it is a justification of what He said – “Without Me you can do nothing.” – Oswald Chambers