Beware of an exaggerated sense of self-importance

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By Tope Banso.

“Elijah replied, ‘I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I alone am left, and now they are trying to kill me, too’” (1 Kings 19:10 New Living Translation).

Under threat of death from blood thirsty Jezebel, Prophet Elijah escaped from her and prayed to God to kill him (1 Kings 19:4). Elijah wasn’t afraid of death but he didn’t want to die in the hand Jezebel in retaliation for the slaughtering of the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. He preferred that God would kill him Himself.

Elijah told God that all God’s prophets had been killed remaining only him. That was where he missed it. Sending him back to continue his ministry, God corrected his perspective: “I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18 New King James Version).

If Elijah had known that, it would have encouraged him to want to continue to live and do his ministry rather than asking God to kill him. God could have preserved Elijah from Jezebel’s sword the same way he protected these seven thousand faithful lsraelites.

The Bible never records the names of any of these seven thousand Israelites but God said they were His people. He valued them so much that he could boast of them to Elijah and also prevented Jezebel from killing them. They may not be as popular as Elijah but they were God’s ambassadors.

Never think that you’re the only one living a holy life, the most faithful or the most prayerful. Never assume that because of the platforms God has given you which have put you in the limelight more than others, you must be the one doing the most for God. God has several others who’re not on cable TV, national TV or radio, the internet, etc. but are equally doing great work for Him. That should humble you!

Don’t let people’s commendation or flattery give you a false sense of importance. Don’t become proud thinking of yourself more highly than you are (Romans 12:3). But that doesn’t mean you should despise yourself.

Don’t believe people’s flattery that you’re the best because of your gifts or accomplishments or that you’re indispensable. It’s a lie. Avoid comparison. (2 Corinthians you 10:12). Find your true value in God, not in comparison with others.

Don’t be like Herod who accepted people’s flattery that his voice was the voice of a god, not of a man! Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck him with a sickness, because he didn’t give the glory to God. Worms ate him till he died (Acts 12:20-23).

Let God make you big; don’t begin to act bigger than you truly are! Your response to praise is a test of your character. “Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised” (Proverbs 27:21 New Living Translation).

May the Lord cut off every flattering lips that Satan wants to use to destroy you (Psalm 12:3).

●●Banso, an Abuja-based minister, heads
Cedar Ministry International. He can be reached via cedarministryintl@yahoo.com,
cedarministryng@gmail.com; and on
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523; and
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947.

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