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Don’t take credit for what God is doing

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Green Pastures By Pastor T. O. Banso

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Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, ‘I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.’ For he says: ‘By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; also I have removed the boundaries of the people, and have robbed their treasuries; so I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. My hand has found like a nest the riches of the people, and as one gathers eggs that are left, I have gathered all the earth; and there was no one who moved his wing, Nor opened his mouth with even a peep.’” (Isa 10:12-14 NKJV)
The Scripture above shows that Assyria became proud over its accomplishment. She failed to recognize that it was just a tool of judgment in God’s hands. God wanted to punish Judah and decided to use Assyria but Assyria became arrogant over her exploits concerning Judah. She began to attribute her exploits to her strength and wisdom. God had to ask her: “Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!” (Isa 10:16 NKJV) Did you see that? It’s not possible for the axe to cut down a tree on its own. No saw can cut a tree on its own. No rod or staff can work by itself. Assyria was like an axe, a rod or a staff that couldn’t work on its own but used as a tool by somebody. Unfortunately, Assyria didn’t know and was taking credit for what God was doing through her. Therefore God said, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.” (Isa 10:12 NKJV)
Whatever your success, you must always recognize that you are merely an instrument in God’s hand. Because of Assyria’s failure to acknowledge God for the exploits she made against Judah, and Assyria’s attendant arrogance, God eventually punished her. (Isa 37:36-37)  One angel killed 185,000 soldiers in one fell swoop. Could you believe that? This was the same Assyria whose king, Sennacherib, was threatening Hezekiah and mocking his God saying Hezekiah shouldn’t allow God in whom he trusted deceive him that Jerusalem would not be given into his hand. (Isa 37:10-13)
Sennacherib was really power drunk and went too far. He didn’t know that he was succeeding because God permitted it. The beginning of the end for Sennacherib was his failure to acknowledge God in his success – this moved him to engage in blasphemy.  When Hezekiah prayed to God, He passed His judgment on Assyria and her king. “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: 'He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return; and he shall not come into this city,' says the LORD. 'For I will defend this city, to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake.'” (Isa 37:33-35 NKJV) What followed was the killing of 185,000 soldiers in the camp of the Assyrians by just one angel.
Sennacherib was destabilized by this inexplicable incident. He therefore fled fulfilling God’s word that he wouldn’t enter Jerusalem. But that wasn’t the end of his trouble.  When he returned home, he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, and his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, struck him down with the sword. (Isa 37:37-38) What a shameful end for a man who had boasted as if he was invincible! It was cheap death for a man who appeared unstoppable. Be careful that you don’t take credit for what God is doing.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride
Nebuchadnezzar made the same mistake Assyria and her king, Sennacherib made, and God punished his pride just as he punished the pride of Assyria. “At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’” (Dan 4:29-30 NKJV) Nebuchadnezzar failed to acknowledge God. He said he was the one who built great Babylon for a royal dwelling and for the honor of his majesty. He said it was by his mighty power that he built great Babylon. He didn’t make any mention of God. He had forgotten that it was God who brought him to the throne.   (Dan 4:31-33)
Because of his pride, Nebuchadnezzar was driven from the throne and men, and ate grass like oxen. His body was wet with the dew until his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws. He was in this condition for seven seasons. Just imagine a king walking on four legs like an animal with his body wet and hair all over his body like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws! He was really humiliated. Nebuchadnezzar the Great became Nebuchadnezzar the beast! He was made lower than a human being to humble him. He was not a good sight to behold.   
Nebuchadnezzar should have avoided the tragedy that befell him because he was warned twelve months earlier by Daniel who interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to him. (Dan 4:24-27) 
But God was merciful to Nebuchadnezzar. After seven seasons of being in the forest like a beast, God restored him to his throne. Hearing Nebuchadnezzar speak later, one is not left in doubt that he had learnt his lessons.  He became a preacher of some sort especially to those who may want to take credit for what God is doing. (Dan 4:34-37)
God hates pride, that’s why He resists the proud. (Js 4:6, I Pet 5:5) If God resists someone, it makes no difference who is assisting that person. God says He’ll cut off the pride of the Philistines (Zech 9:6).  He says He’ll bring down the pride of the Assyrians (Zech 10:11) The pride of Moab will also disappear. (Is 16:6-13) God will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease (Is 13:11).
Eschew pride; always wear the garment of humility no matter the exploits God is doing through you and despite the outstanding successes you’re achieving. “God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth” (Matt 5:5 Life Application Study Bible). J.B. Philips Translation renders Matt 5:5 thus: “Happy are those who claim nothing for the whole earth will belong to them.”
“Blessed” or “happy” means “to be envied and spiritually prosperous [that is, with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favour and salvation, regardless of their outward condition]” (Amplified Bible). Don’t take credit for what God is doing. Don’t attribute your exploits or successes to your strength, wisdom, brilliance, prayer and fasting etc. Give the glory to God.
If you are not born again, kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God”
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things becoming all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. May the Lord be with you.

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