First Impressions

They say the first impression you make on someone is the one that will be remembered. 

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. 2 Chronicles 34:1-2

 Out of all 66 books in the bible and the tons of people in it and all the things that could have been said this is how we are introduced to Josiah, an eight-year-old boy who became king. At eight years old he was called to lead an entire nation… 

“He did what was pleasing to God.” 

“He followed in the ways of his father David.”

” He did not turn to the right or the left.”

This is what, out of everything he did we are supposed to remember. Not what he had for breakfast, or what he did on the weekends, not what school he went to, but that what he did was pleasing to God. What will we be remembered for? How we snuck around? Cheated on that math test? Teased the kid with glasses? How we acted during the week when we are out of church and our “church friends” weren’t around to see? Or that what we did was pleasing to God? 

In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In the twelfth year, he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles, and idols.
Under his direction the altars of Baals were torn down; he cut to pieces the incense altars that were above them and smashed the Asherah poles and the idols. These he broke into pieces and scattered over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them 2 Chronicles 34:3-4

It’s so hard to do what is “pleasing in God’s eyes” for a short amount of time… But it is so so easy to let life claim our focus. At 16, Josiah was man after Gods’ heart. How many of us can that be said of? At 16, he was leading not one or two people but an entire nation back to the God of their ancestors. Can you imagine how absolutely terrifying that would be?  Can you imagine the honor?

In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, to purify the land and the temple, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and Maaseiah the ruler of the city, with Joah son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the temple of the LORD his God. 2 Chronicles 34:9
I drop my purse and notebook under the seat at the end of a row. The sanctuary fills quickly from the front row back. After a quick game, the band comes on stage, and the youth leader tries to settle the crowd of rambunctious teens that somehow all seem to be on a sugar-high as they giggle and joke. cell phones in abundance glow from hands of owners surfing twitter and whatever new social media form there is in the darkened room as the band begins a soft tune and someone on stage begins to pray. Some bow their heads- others make no attempt to even look like they are trying to be involved. 
The band goes into a worship song and one girl in the front row closes her eyes and raises her hands along with the song… beside her two more girls chat sidetracking the row of boys behind them that are already barely paying attention to the song. Singing along  to  a word here or there. A few others take their Que from the drummer increasing the beat to raise their hands. The pastor comes on and mentions what a good time they had the event over the weekend and how many kids got saved. A cheer rises as the number is announced. Then he begins the lesson for tonight. 
He talks about how when you’re in the moment when the band is good and you’re on a spiritual high it’s easy to be on fire for Him. To say I’m going to seek Him. I’m going to read my bible and go to church etc. But when Monday rolled around and the world hits you square in the face, you remembered you had a test do that you haven’t done any work for. Why didn’t God remind me about that?! Or an ugly situation raised its head and life went back to normal…
We have to seek God every single day. In every aspect of our lives… the way we talk, the way we dress, the way we treat others. Every way.  It’s not easy, it’s a constant battle. Because when you are seeking him you are a threat to Satan. We have to acknowledge who God is. Who is He every single day? But we can not let church be our idol. We love the idea of church but we don’t always love Christ. How do we get to the point that our biggest desire is Him and our tradition is Church? Destroy the idols in your life. An idol is anything and everything that keeps us from putting God front and center in our lives. The world needs Christian leaders. There are plenty to fill in the cracks but we were called to lead. To be bold and be different. 

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