Cancel Comfort and Do Something Hard

Jan 1, 2021

In 2 Kings 22, while counting money in the Temple to fund the workers restoring it, Hilkiah finds a scroll of the Book of the Law. The scroll is read to King Josiah and it says, “he tore his clothes in despair.” He realizes how far away from God’s commands their ancestors have lead them. He understands their failures and sends a group to the Temple to speak with the God. God tells them He is very angry and the consequences in the Book of the Law will be carried out. God says that because of Josiah’s despair and repentance these things will not occur until after his death. 

Chapter 23 starts with Josiah bringing all of the people of Judah and Jerusalem together and reading them the scroll that had been found. He recommitted to following all of God’s instructions and all the people did as well. 

I feel like this is as far as most Christians in America get. We are convicted about things we are doing or not doing and feel bad about it. We may think about it for a while, but soon we settle into the comfort of our lives once again. Before we know it, we’re back to neglecting the things Jesus told us. Our recommitment is nothing more than a feeling.

Most of the rest of chapter 23 tells of Josiah’s destruction of all things related to false gods and reinstituting the celebration of Passover. When reading this, it’s surprising how much of this stuff had made its way into the Temple. He was so set on destroying this stuff and ridding their land of it that he had some of the stuff burned outside of the city and the ashes carried away even further. His despair and repentance was more than a feeling. The action that followed was proof. He did the hard stuff.

The people of Israel didn’t have a personal copy of God’s law to read whenever they wished. They depend on their Kings to refresh themselves on that and keep the people on track. The people did however hear God’s law and were commanded to pass it down to the next generations. Unsurprisingly, they failed just as we would have. 

We are blessed to be alive in a time and place where we have unbridled access to the complete Word of God. Yet, here we are living our lives as if the commands of Christ are just suggestions. How many self proclaiming Christians in our country are as ignorant of what is in the Bible as King Josiah was of what was on that scroll? How many of our churches have been infiltrated with things/teachings that Josiah would carry out of the city and burn? How many of our religious leaders would Josiah do away with for leading people in things contrary to the Word of God?

We need conviction, repentance, and action. Where do we start?

Get in His word everyday. Don’t do it to check a box or gather information. Ask Him to use it to transform you. Ask God to convict you of the evil in your life and to reveal it to others if you don’t repent from it when He reveals it.

Ask God to give you opportunities to share His love. When He does, get out of your comfort zone and share it in word and deed. 

Invest in the lives of fellow Christians. When there is a financial need, give of what He has given you. When support, accountability, or discipleship is needed, give your time.

Put the electronics away, turn the TV off, and spend time with your kids teaching them the Word of God. Then, strive to live it out for them to see on a daily basis.

The American Christian culture has drifted from the commands of Christ by making congregating within church walls the sole priority. It’s time we understand that is only part of carrying out His commands and acknowledge it’s the easiest part. 

I pray in 2021 we cancel our comfort and do something hard.