Where do I want to be next year? What do I want to have achieved?
Where do I want to grow in my life?
One of the most important things I’ve learned in my years on this planet is that I need to feed what I want to grow. I can’t just wish it. I can’t sit frustrated because nothing is changing if I’m not doing something to change it.
I need to take action. There must be forward movement – one step at a time – towards my goal.
And I am encouraged as I read King Hezekiah’s story in 2 Chronicles of his vast and successful religious reformation of his nation. One step at a time, working with the priests, he took his people who were far from God and led them back into obedience. This is a great role model for us if our goal is to grow closer to God and grow in faithfulness.
Hezekiah’s first step was to cleanse the temple. They purified everything in the temple and consecrated it. What would this look like for you and I? Stop habits that are not good for our minds and souls. Stop reading articles, magazines, books that don’t feed what we want to grow. Change our favorite channels on TV, our favorite music channels and our most visited websites. Cleanse our minds and souls by controlling what we’re feeding them.
Then Hezekiah had the people gather together to use the temple as it was meant to be used – sacrificing to God and worshiping him. For us, this means committing to meet with God’s people regularly – studying God’s word and growing together. It also means making sure we are in line with God’s directions on tithing and giving of our time. The Israelites gave so much back to God that they had plenty to share with their neighbors who needed help.
Next, Hezekiah invited Israel and Judah to come to the temple together to celebrate the Passover. He invited his neighbors – just like God wants us to ask our neighbors to come with us to church or our small group or watch the worship on line together.
Then Hezekiah told his people, “Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the LORD…” Do you and I have any people in our lives that aren’t good influences? Do we need to pick different friends? Different role models?
They attacked their idols – destroying them and getting rid of the distraction. What are our idols? What things in our lives make us too busy to spend time with God personally and with other believers? We need to feed what we want to grow.
We read that God blessed Hezekiah and his people as they grew more and more obedient. God gave them unity of mind as they all looked to him for wisdom and guidance.
I know I want God’s blessings in my life. I want unity of mind, wisdom and guidance. One of my main motivations for reading the entire Bible every year for these last 9 years is making sure I’m on a steady path of knowing and loving God more.
I know that I need to feed my relationship with God in order for those things to grow. And God will be faithful in helping me – he always is.
Thank you, Abba Father.