I asked someone the other day if he thought if he was spiritually mature. He responded with “no”. When I asked why not, he said it was because he lacked works in His life and a passion for the Gospel. When I suggested going on a missions trip, and/or more intentional relationships, he said, “Maybe later, because I know it is going to change me.” This made me ask myself… Why? When we know what we are supposed to do for the Kingdom of God, why do we wait? Why do we make excuses, Why are we so hesitant to change?
Lately, my bible reading plan has brought me to the book of 2 Kings, a book filled with kings who consistently disobey God, others who half-heartedly follow the LORD, and finally, the few kings, who had a heart like King David, who decided to whole heartedly dedicate their entire lives to following, loving and obeying the LORD.
King Josiah: His father Amon, did evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done (2 Kings 21:2), and yet King Josiah, did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left (2 kings 22:2). Josiah was different that his father, Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh. King Josiah changed his lifestyle, he did NOT follow in the steps of his father, of what he knew, but rather decided to follow the LORD and walked in the way of the LORD.
More: When the book of the Law was found in the house of God, Josiah realized the wrath of God that would be kindled upon him (2 Kings 22:13) and immediately he made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all of his heart, and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book, and all the people joined in the covenant(2 kings 23:2). As soon as Josiah realized that he was in the wrong, he made a covenant to the LORD to change, specifically to obey the LORD. This is what our lives should look like when we follow Jesus, a promise to change for Him by obeying Him with all of our heart and soul, just like King Josiah. The rest of 2 Kings 23 outlines the changes of King Josiah and his rule, the efforts that he made to please and obey the LORD – including keeping the passover which hadn’t been kept in decades. His faith and his obedience was evident in the works of His rule. As daughters and sons of the Most High King, are we able to say that we whole heartedly follow Him?
The result: The wrath of God was still against Judah & Jerusalem, BUT the LORD recognized Josiah’s penitent heart, and his humility before the LORD (2 kings 22:19) and gathered Josiah to his grave in peace, so that Josiah would not see the disaster brought on by the LORD. (2 Kings 22: 20).
It isn’t enough to simply want to change. We need to change for the LORD, because we love Him and want to follow Him. There are so many things that I want to change about myself, my heart, my mind, my soul and my body. Will these changes be glorifying to God? Are these changes that I want to make selfish – for my future, and for my own personal happiness? God has to be the source of the change, or the change isn’t going to be successful. We are powerless… without the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. How can I change to be more like King Josiah, and more like Jesus?