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I don’t feel the need to demonstrate the truth that there are times when we all need to recharge our faith. We’ve all been there. Spiritual energy lags, we find a malaise and disinterest setting in. How does a Christian recharge lagging faith?
There is a revival … a refreshing … a renewal that comes from the Lord. How can we find that energizing presence to bring new life to our old faith?
In 2 Kingss 22 we find Judah in a time of faithlessness. Godless leaders-two of the worst kings of their history- had led them into idolatry, murder, child sacrifice, and every kind of wickedness. The temple, the visible presence of God, had fallen into shameful shambles. And to top it all off, their new king was only 8 years old. But don’t discount this youngster and the influence he would have.
When King Josiah was 26 years old his faith was rekindled and he desired to restore the broken temple back to its former glory. Hilkiah the High Priest found the Book of The Law in the Temple. Can you imagine the Word of the Lord being lost in the House of the Lord? When it was read before the King he tore his robes and sought the insight of a prophetess named Huldah to find out what God required.
The message from the prophetess was good news/bad news. The bad news was that god was not going to relent on destroying Judah. Disaster was coming because Judah had not kept his Word. Judah would not be saved because their national faith was not renewed, only their King. So the good news was that Josiah would not have to see the destruction to come.
What can we learn from Josiah about how to recharge our faith?
RISE ABOVE THE CHALLENGES (22:1-2). Josiah faced several obstacles. His Age – a bold young man with a big plan. No doubt some discounted him for his age. Josiah was committed to seeking God and did not allow anything to hold him back. His Background – was the great, great grandson of Hezekiah – one of the godliest kings of Judah. The grandson of Manasseh –the wickedest king of Judah. He was not raised in a godly home. He had no great mentor to help him along. His Kingdom – thoroughly ungodly. Josiah was swimming upstream in a godless culture. He did not need the approval of the crowd to do the right thing.
What obstacles are you facing that are keeping you from having an energized faith?Rise above the challenges!
RESPOND TO THE WORD (22:19). Josiah was humble when he heard the message from God. A prideful spirit does not seek anything from the Lord. When we feel that we do not need to seek God’s face, we are living on our own goodness and strength – and it will never be enough. The world around us mocks God and godly people, even denying that He is real. Our response is not to be to the unbelieving world around us, but to the Living God to whom we give our hearts.
…This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. ~Isaiah 66:2
…God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up~James 4:6, 10
I love that message in verse 19: “I heard you, says the Lord”. When we need to recharge our faith we need to respond to God’s Word with our whole heart. He hears us … and moves in our behalf. But we must do more.
REPENT OF PAST FAILURE (22:20). The King’s repentance was important to God –and God rewarded his penitent heart. We too, must have a penitent heart in order to find revival.
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. ~Acts 3:19
In the first Gospel sermon, Peter affirmed that repentance was required from those who had killed the Christ … along with baptism (Acts 2:37, 38). Before they were baptized, they expressed sorrow and inquired, ‘what shall we do?’
None of us can bypass repentance – for we all have sinned. None of those secrets is hidden from God’s sight. None of our secrets are too big to forgive through Christ’s blood. Repentance is changing your mind about sin. Not just a wish, or a hope, but something we pursue. Genuine repentance is when we come before God with our robes torn – with our hearts broken and our pride drained and only asking God for his forgiveness and mercy.
Repentance is a life-long attitude! When is the last time you have expressed repentance before God? Was it more than words?
…There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.~Luke 15: 10
The great danger we all face is that the Enemy never stops working. After Josiah died Judah was delivered over to the Babylonian empire. Josiah’s oldest son only reigned 3 months, then his second son reigned under the power of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took the brightest and best of Judah to train for service in his courts. Among those was the young man we know as Daniel. I believe Josiah’s faithfulness was an inspiration to Daniel (whether by personal knowledge or oral tradition, I cannot say). How can we re-energize our faith?
Like Josiah… Rise above the challenges, Respond to the Word, Repent of past failure. There is a beautiful tribute to Josiah at the end of 2 Kings 23:25:
Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did–with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
Did you notice that this tribute to Josiah parallels the Greatest Command, as Jesus taught it? So it is that our lives will find the greatest revival power when we love god with all our heart, soul and strength … and our neighbors as ourselves.
Thanks for reading.