Why is it that we feel prideful when God uses us to speak His word or do His work? Did you ever notice how some pastors and teachers get so self-consumed when their message is well received that they actually take credit for it? We think, “Look how effective I am; .look at all those people who got saved because they heard my sermon.” “I am such a good teacher; look how many people were impacted by my message.”

Any unwary Christians can easily forget the lesson taught in the book of Numbers; “if God can speak through Balaam’s ass, he can certainly speak through me!”

So the next time you are tempted to take personal pride in a well crafted sermon because of its positive results in people’s lives, think back on that lowly talking ass. Let pride be replaced by honor that God actually chose you to deliver His message. Never forget, God can replace you at any time, so don’t let “success” go to your head.

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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