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He replied, "I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." —1 Kings 19:10

One of my greatest fears is that God will pass me by because I might take myself too seriously if He gave me a greater anointing. Taking oneself too seriously is assuming one is more important than he or she really is. It results in our expecting more respect and attention than is warranted. We begin feeling that we, more than anyone else, should be notified the moment God has new plans for His church—and, of course, these plans should include us.

Even when we are seeking to walk in obedience to the Lord there is a danger of taking ourselves too seriously. We may fall prey to the "Elijah complex." Elijah's finest hour was followed by his taking himself very seriously. "I am the only one left," he said, having earlier lamented he was no better than his ancestors.

The twin sins of self-righteousness and self-pity so readily lift their ugly heads at us. For example, it is a rare person who can be an intercessor in prayer and not boast about it. It is a rare person who can pray for a leader and then refrain from giving advice. It is a rare person who can be greatly used of God today and tomorrow be quietly willing to watch God use another. It is a rare person who can see God answer prayer on one item and not question because He doesn't answer other prayers. It is a rare person who can enjoy sweet intimacy with Christ today and not feel sad when He doesn't manifest His presence tomorrow.

Few of us can handle much success, especially in the area of knowing God. God is the only one who can deal with us when we are like that. Sometimes the only way He can get our attention is by being ruthlessly silent. Don't fear His silence. Use it to examine your heart and motives. Listen expectantly for the silence to be broken by the glory of His manifested presence once again in your life.

Excerpted from The Sensitivity of the Spirit (Charisma House, 2002).

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