Our reading yesterday was from the book of 2nd Kings chapters 22 and 23 where Josiah reads the Law of Moses. He rents his clothing due to his sorrow at having disobeyed God as well as understanding that his forefathers had completely abandoned what God had told them. Josiah tries to honor God by tearing down idols, killing idolatrous priests, tearing down the high places, and cutting down groves. He then holds a Passover as had never been seen during the reign of the kings of Judah nor Israel. Verse 25 tells us,
"And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him."It is heart breaking to read through the kings and see opportunity lost, defilement, and when a king decides to tear down an idol yet leaves up the high places and the asherah poles. I am reminded of how simple we are as we try to live for God. Today's Christian accepts a feel-good, watered down, simplified version of the Holy One and the Bible. We have exchanged the truth for a lie. Romans 1:22-25,
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beast, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."We have prayed that the Lord would show us the high places, the idols, and the asherah poles in our lives so that we may tear them down for His glory, not to seek salvation through a set of rules, but to love Him, to honor Him and to walk humbly with Him. As though we didn't already draw attention just being the family the Lord has made us, now we are setting different standards for modesty, movie watching, sheltering of our children, teaching to serve, standing for truth, and going against the flow of societal and even Christian norms. We don't want diet Christianity. The importance of knowing God and His Word is the absolute. Don't those all sound like good things? But when they challenge a friend, or make someone feel judged just by being near us, even though these are our convictions, our standards, our choices and not imposed on anyone else, that is when it becomes a testing ground. That is when it becomes hard. That is when we remember: Who are we trying to live for? Who are we trying to please? Colossians 3:22-24,
"Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."We know we live to serve God. That we, like Josiah, would love Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our might and that our lives would be a testimony to His faithfulness, His love, and His grace...that is my prayer, that is my hearts desire.