But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.
2 Chronicles 26:16
Heed this warning from the life of King Uzziah. He had a long and prosperous reign in Jerusalem, beginning his rule at the age of 16, and reigning 52 years in total. He was a God-fearing man who set his heart on seeking God for himself and the nation. The Lord blessed him so that Judah's power and influence grew. He fortified Jerusalem and built a strongly defensive army. National security and morale were high. The small nation became greater than it possibly ever could. And that is where the old king grew weak in his perceived strength and accomplishments.
For reasons known only to the king, Uzziah chose to violate the temple law and do a task reserved only for the priests... the burning of incense before the Lord. Perhaps he thought it would personalize his worship. Maybe he reasoned "It's only incense... it's not a big deal like offering a sacrifice like Saul did." But it was wrong. It disrespected God's holy commands. When God confronted the king who was in the very act of disobedience, Uzziah grew angry. He was chastised then immediately with leprosy, excluded from all entry into the temple from that day forward. He was banished to his own leper's house, losing palace privilege as well as his pride.
We should never take credit for what God in His grace pours on us. And we should never think ourselves above God's Word. Such pride brings separation and destruction.