Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Begin With Me Lord

 I often hear folks say how much they wish a revival or spiritual renewal would sweep across our land or in their churches.  This would be wonderful, but we have to step back and ask ourselves an important question.  Are we willing to start by renewing ourselves first?  That's something we need to think about.  Spiritual renewal has to begin with us, and it's a process that is ongoing.
     In the book of 2 Chronicles 34:19-33, we see the reaction of young King Josiah of Judah when he hears the Book of the Law read to him.  His response?  He cried and repented of his sins.  The Word tells us that he tore his clothes.
     Josiah became king when he was only eight years old.  His father had been murdered and was a worshipper of idols in Judah.  The people so often had turned from the Lord to follow after other gods.
     When Josiah was sixteen, he began in earnest to seek the Lord for himself.  He set out to become a reformer in the land when he was twenty.  By the time he reached age 26, Josiah became God's humble servant.  It was while he was having the Temple rebuilt that the priests found the Book of the Law which they read to Josiah.  His reaction to the reading of the Law was a broken and contrite heart for he realized how far short he and the people had fallen from God's holiness.
     Josiah did not stop with his own repentance but brought all the people together and had all stand to hear the reading of the Book of the Covenant.  He not only read it to the people but made a solemn covenant with God to obey and worship Him.  He sought out all the idols and removed them and celebrated the Passover once again.
     Revival came to Judah because it started with one young man.  He used his position, his life and all that he had to serve God.  Oh, that we could all be like King Josiah and return to our first love!
     Do we want our churches to be on fire?  What about our nation which has gone far astray from the Lord?  Do want want renewal of faith in our country?  We might say, "yes" but what can we do?  We need to simply follow the example of a young king who saw the need to repent before God and weep for his people.  If we can repent and weep before God and call upon His name first on our own behalf, then for our churches, our community and our nation, God will be faithful to answer.
     Revival and renewal have to start in our own hearts first or nothing will ever change.  There is a line from an old campfire song that Glenn and I learned as new Christians and this says it well:  "It only takes a spark to get a fire going".  Let us be the spark for God and live for Him seeking His face daily for renewal.  Selah!

The picture comes from Wiki Commons and was created by Flickrlickr.

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