Are there times when you feel distant, maybe even separated from God? At one time or another, most of us have felt that way. I know I have–more times than I care to admit.
Looking back, I realize that whenever I felt separated from God it isn’t because He moved. I did. I had become complacent in my relationship with Him, and in time, that impacted my relationships with everyone else, and not in a good way.
Fortunately, you and I are not the only ones to experience this separation from God. The Bible has quite a few stories depicting God’s people, their rejection of Him, and how they ultimately found their way back to Him. One of my favorite examples is the story of Josiah which can be found in 2 Kings 22.
Josiah was the son of Amon, a wicked king. Josiah became king when he was only eight years old. When he was only 16 years old he began seeking after God. By 20 years old he personally began the process of purging the high places and idols from Judah. When he was 26 years old he authorized the repair of the temple. It was then that Hilkiah the priest found the book of the Law. When the book of the Law was read to Josiah he tore his clothes in shame and repented. He brought the people together and read the Law to them, and with them made a covenant to keep God’s commandments. After that, Josiah re-established Passover for all people. (2 Kings 22)
Josiah’s Road to Revival
1) Seek God. Josiah personally sought God and continued to respond to Him as he learned more.
2) Purge evil. Josiah called out evil the evil practices and spent the next six years personally supervising the destruction of the idols and high places throughout the land.
3) Repair the temple. The temple had not only fallen into disrepair it had become a storehouse. Josiah appointed workers and craftsmen to restore the temple to its former glory.
4) Return to the Word of God. Shaphan the secretary read the Book of the Law to Josiah
5) Repentance. As soon as he heard the Law Josiah immediately responded by humbling himself before God and repenting of the sins of the nation Israel.
6) Seek the Lord. Josiah asked the priest Hilkiah to inquire of the prophetess Huldah.
7) Engage the leaders. Josiah gathered the leaders and priests and read the Law to them.
8) Establish a covenant with God. Josiah established a covenant with God that included the leaders, priests and people.
9) Resumed Passover. Josiah ordered the Passover celebration be resumed. He even provided many of the animals needed for the sacrifice. It was the first time since the prophet Samuel that the Passover had been celebrated—some 400 years.
“There is corruption in government on all levels. There is corruption in all organizations today. Immorality and lawlessness abound. Sex, liquor, drugs, filthy magazines, foul pictures, scandals, and riots reign. This nation is wallowing like a pig in a swine’s sty. We are like the prodigal son in a far country in the pigpen with the pigs. Socialism is creeping in today. Political parties are willing to sell the birthright of this nation in order to stay in power. The church today is under the blight of apostasy. Liberalism controls the organized church. There is a brazen denial of the Word of God even in so-called evangelical circles. The Word of God has been lost in the church, and there are atheists today in the pulpit.” Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee (about 1970).
1) Seek God. The starting point is an individual. Revival begins with an individual whose heart is focused on God and becomes a mass movement. Revival begins when an individual with the courage of their convictions stands up for their faith.
2) Purge evil. Remove the idols from our own lives and call out evil wherever we see it.
3) Repair the temple. Our churches may not be in physical disrepair, but is the spirit of God alive and at work in our churches, or is the message people hear a feel-good, psychological message?
4) Return to the Word of God. Do God’s people read their Bibles or do they fill their minds with television, romantic fiction novels, and self-help books? Is the true Word of God preached in church, or is there a new-age message of inclusion where all roads lead to heaven?
5) Repentance. Repentance is an individual act as one humbles themselves before God.
6) Seek the Lord through prayer.
7) Engaged leaders in the church must accurately teach the whole Word of God.
8) Establish your personal covenant with God. As a church community, we proclaim our faith and reliance on God and each other as part of the body.
9) Worship God. Set aside regular times to connect with and worship our Lord.
Join the Conversation!
As Always questions are comments are welcome. Have you struggled at times in your relationship with God? Do you feel like in some way you need a personal revival?
Category: Personal Development | Dependence on God