And the king…made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul… And all the people joined in the covenant. (2 Kings 23:3, ESV)
God’s call to Himself is one of complete renewal commitment. No stone may be left unturned, no pet sins remaining.
Steps to Spiritual Renewal
When King Josiah made the decision to turn back to God, he did so in grand and complete fashion. As we consider our own commitment to God, here are some things we can learn from Josiah’s example:
- He made his spiritual decision in the temple. Josiah could have remained in the palace and held his special time of confession, repentance, and renewed commitment to God; but he chose instead to go to the “Temple of the LORD.” Yes, our spiritual decisions can be made anywhere, in just about every setting; but there is an added level of formality to our commitment when made in church and in the presence of others.
- He read and fully respected God’s Word. There was no mistake as to the origin of the covenant or the intention of Josiah’s gathering. We must always go to God’s Word as the source of absolute truth and firmly tie our commitments there. Our spiritual renewal must be based on God’s Word, His way, and His holy standard – not our feelings or preconceived ideas.
- He granted no leniency to sin. He removed anything unholy from his home and the country. This wasn’t a church-only spiritual renewal – it was all-encompassing and included the unholy objects found in the palace and throughout the country. When we choose to truly get right with God, it will include the habits and practices in our personal life. Spiritual renewal includes our homes and the lifestyles we live away from church.
- He restored what was holy. He wasn’t content with merely stopping the current idolatrous worship, he further instructed the priests to remove from the Temple all articles that were used for such purposes. And simply removing them wasn’t good enough either – he had them burned, ground to powder, and their ashes far removed from the Temple. There can be no seemingly small and insignificant sinful remnants when we make a holy commitment with God. Spiritual renewal includes getting rid of what’s unholy and restoring what is holy. When we give up sinful habits, we must substitute them with something holy.
- What spiritual decision is the Holy Spirit leading you to make?
- On what Scripture passage are you basing this decision?
- Upon making the spiritual decision, with whom will you share it, as a means of holding yourself spiritually accountable?